From America's Test Kitchen Season 8: Coffeehouse Treats
We’ve made bran muffins with unprocessed wheat bran, so we know how they’re supposed to look and taste. But there are so many bran cereals at the supermarket, just about all of them with a muffin recipe on the box, that we wondered if we could achieve the same thing without a special trip to the natural foods store. Twig-style cereal worked better than flakes, but soaking the twigs in milk, as most recipes recommend, left our muffins dense and heavy—they were soaking up all the moisture, leaving the batter dry. Instead, we stirred together the wet ingredients first and then added the cereal; grinding half of the twigs in the food processor and leaving the rest whole gave us the rustic texture we wanted, and the cereal softened in just a few minutes. Whole milk yogurt added needed moisture to the batter, along with butter. Molasses and brown sugar reinforced the earthy bran flavor. To address the texture of the muffins, we switched to baking soda instead of baking powder and used one egg plus a yolk—two eggs made the muffins too springy. To ensure that they would soften fully, we plumped the raisins in water in the microwave before adding them to the batter and baking the muffins. These muffins were tender and moist, rustic but not dense, with hearty bran flavor—and all the ingredients came from the supermarket.
Makes 12 muffins
The test kitchen prefers Kellogg's All-Bran Original cereal in this recipe. Dried cranberries or dried cherries may be substituted for raisins. Low-fat or nonfat yogurt can be substituted for whole milk yogurt, though the muffins will be slightly less flavorful.