I know, I'd be sceptical too-but really, they were fantastic. Purely by accident as well. I didn't have buttermilk so I stirred some creme fresh into whole milk to sour it, and proceeded as usual. The result was a light, delicious bran muffin (again, I recognise the absurdity in that, but you'll have to take my word for it until you try them and become converted) that I'd eat even if I hadn't been plugged-up tighter than a previously gushing oil well in the Gulf. What? You didn't think I'd go there on a post about bran muffins? You people really don't get this blog, do you? At least I didn't go all Burroughs on you, and start talking about apple corers.
Er, moving (heh heh) along to the recipe...
You Will Need:
3 cups bran cereal (I used All Bran)
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups whole milk plus 1/2 cup creme fresh or 2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup flavourless oil (I used soybean)
1 cup raisins (or any other dried fruit you like, cut-up if large)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups AP flour
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. This will make 24 regular sized muffins. I made 12 large, and 12 small instead. If you make large ones, grease the tops of your muffin tins so the tops won't stick. I lined mine with paper wrappers, but you can simply grease them if you prefer.
Pour the boiling water over the bran in a large, heatproof bowl. Let stand until lukewarm. beat in with a wooden spoon (don't use a mixer) the eggs, milk, oil, and fruit. Mix well. Toss dry ingredients together, and add to the bowl. Mix well, but do not over-mix.
Pour into cups (2/3 full for small muffins, to the top for larger) and bake about 20 minutes (for small) to 30 minutes (for large) checking often. Cool on racks. When cool, wrapped tightly in sandwich bags (use the cheap ones, and knot shut. They freeze really well, and can be thawed (in the plastic so they don't dry out) at room temperature, or microwaved (remove the plastic) for about 30 seconds. Either way, a handy breakfast to keep on hand.