This is the second time around for me and these bran muffins from Ina Garten. The first time I made them I followed the recipe exactly…well, I did leave out the orange zest. They were terrific. There wasn’t a real need to change anything. You will not be disappointed if you try the original recipe. Here is the link.
I had some blackened bananas that needed to be put to good use, and fast. So I decided to try them in these muffins instead of the firmer chopped banana I’d used the first time. Here are the other changes I made.
- Added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients
- Used skim milk (mixed with lemon juice) instead of buttermilk
- Used half whole wheat and half AP flour
- Used half golden raisins and half regular raisins
- Substituted pecans for the walnuts
- Used the orange zest
The result was yet another yummy bran muffin. They do not photograph well though, so I used this photo courtesy of foodtv.com. I liked the subtle flavor of the orange zest. I definitely like the pecans better than walnuts…but that’s just a personal preference. The texture was a bit heartier with the wheat flour. The skim milk might have made the texture or moistness of the muffins a bit different, but not to a degree that I really noticed. The combination of golden and regular raisins is nice, but not necessary. I had some extra golden ones left over, so I used them. I wouldn’t buy them just for these muffins as the plain raisins are great.
You can change a lot of things in these muffins to make them your own. I would not leave out the banana though since I am sure that gives some necessary moisture. Next time I might use cranberries instead of raisins. I think that would be nice with the orange flavor, which I might bump up more by using more zest and some orange juice. If you think of or try anything else, let me know. Enjoy!
Banana Bran Muffins
Adapted from Chunky Banana Muffins by Ina Garten
- 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners into 1 (10 or 12-cup) muffin tin.
- Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, 1 at a time. Scrape the bowl and then add the molasses, orange zest, and vanilla. (The mixture will look curdled.) Add the bran/buttermilk mixture and combine.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined. Don’t overmix it!
- Fold in the raisins, bananas and walnuts with a rubber spatula.
- With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups to the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.