Rustic Banana Bran Muffins

 

Bran muffin recipes using bran cereal sometimes get a bad rap because of the added sugar in the cereal and the use of a processed ingredient (rather than unprocessed bran). But muffins made with cereal have a finer texture that some may prefer, and for the past few years I've been playing around with the recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. I like my breakfast pastries to have fruit and a certain whole-grain heft, so I added a ripe banana, cut into chunks rather than mashed, as well as whole wheat flour and ground flaxseeds. The craggy-topped muffins with chunks of fruit have a rustic look but are surprisingly light and just sweet enough that you can add some jam without it being too much. You can vary the recipe by substituting grated apple for the banana and adding some cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Note that the batter should be refrigerated at least overnight before baking but will keep covered in the refrigerator for a week. As the KAF folks point out, you can scoop and bake as much as you need and have fresh muffins throughout the week.

What you will need

1/2 cup boiling water

2 cups bran cereal (not flakes--I used Nature's Path Organic Smart Bran), divided

1/3 cup canola or other vegetable oil

1 large egg

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup dark or golden brown sugar

3 tablespoons flaxseeds, ground (or a heaping 1/3 cup flax meal)

1 very ripe banana, cut into chunks

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