Thursday, December 5, 2013

Baking? Bran Muffins? Who Am I?...

I've never been a cook, let alone a baker...

Don't get me wrong, I love food and I love to watch people cook. Going to the grocery store gives me a small thrill and I recently described our newest grocery store here in Doha as "sexy" (because it is...). But I'm not a cook.

That being said, I was getting antsy while JJ takes his morning naps. There is only so much Facebook and reading one can do. So! I've taken up baking Bran Muffins and I have to admit, I'm loving it.

My mom (The Ging) makes a mean Bran Muffin and I love her recipe. Unfortunately, her recipe takes up to an hour of prep (soaking, etc) and I don't have that kind of time. So! I have discovered a different, and yet, similar recipe. Here we go:

Ingredients                                           Serving (24)

Bran Cereal, such as Kellogg's All-Bran         4 cups
Buttermilk*                                                3 1/2 cups
Raisins (if desired)                                      2/3 cup
Vegetable Oil                                            2/3 cup
Maple Syrup (or Honey)**                           1/2 cup
Egg(s)                                                       2 Large
Packed Light Brown Sugar                          1/2 cup
All-Purpose Flour                                       2 1/2 cups
Baking Powder                                          4 tsp
Baking Soda                                              2 tsp
Salt                                                         1/2 tsp
Cinnamon                                                2 1/4 tsp
Ginger                                                     1 tsp
Wheat Bran***                                          1/4 cup

* I make my own buttermilk as I am unable to find it in the stores here in Doha. The ratio is 1 Cup milk to 1 tbsp White Vinegar and you allow to sit for 5 minutes. Who knew? Besides my husband and I'm sure every other well established chef in the world. But seriously, who knew.

** As we are unable to get Maple Syrup here, we have substituted pure honey. Works quite well and it's cheaper.

*** The Wheat Bran doesn't have to go in, just an added boost if you will.

Pre-heat the oven to 400*F or 200*C.

Combine the bran cereal, buttermilk, raisins (if desired) and wheat bran (if desired) in a large bowl; let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in the oil, maple syrup, egg and brown sugar. Sift the dry ingredients over the mixture and gently stir until combined. Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

Bake at 400* (
200*C) for 18 to 20 minutes (our oven bakes them by 19 minutes). 

Dried apple or chopped toasted pecans may be added to the batter instead of raisins. I've started adding (1 - 2) Banana(s) to the second batch for Banana Bran Muffins. So good if you're a banana freak like me.

It's nice as opposed to allowing to sit for one (1) hour, it's only 10 minutes... For someone who tries to bake while the Little Man is sleeping, a difference of 50 minutes is HUGE! ;)

****The bones of this recipe come from "The Baker's Manual; Fifth Edition" by Joseph Amendola and Nicole Rees. I've adjusted baking temperatures and included some ingredients (ginger / cinnamon or pumpkin spice should you so choose)****

As the muffins do not have any preservatives, I typically freeze all but 4 - 6 of them and pull them out accordingly. 


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