We’ve been eating these muffins left and right, up and down, over and under (ok, I’m done) for a few months now and they are simply fantastic. We happen to be muffin lovers around here so maybe we’re biased but they have us won over as new favorites for breakfast and snacks and everything inbetween.
The batch makes plenty so after they’ve been baked and cooled, I pop them into a gallon-size ziploc bag for the freezer to be pulled out easily for quick and healthy and delicious breakfasts (usually alongside one of our go-to smoothies and often hard-boiled eggs, too, which I also make ahead, peel and shove in the fridge).
When I’ve run out of savvy lunch ideas these muffins also come to the rescue. (I calculated the other day and by the time my five kids are out of elementary school, I and the kids will have packed close to 5,400 lunches, give or take a few sick days here and there; heaven help me.) Sometimes I even get all mother-of-the-year on them, split the muffins in half and spread a bit of peanut butter on before sandwiching back together.
Call me simple, but these muffins make me very, very happy.
Whole Grain Honey Bran Muffins
- 4 cups wheat bran
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional, only if you want them a touch sweeter)
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (see note)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- In a large bowl, combine the wheat bran and wheat germ. Pour in the boiling water and stir to combine. The mixture may look crumbly, it’s ok if it doesn’t appear to be soaking wet. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut oil (or butter), sugar (if using), molasses, honey, eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Whisk together the milk and buttermilk.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the muffin batter and mix until just combined. Stir in 1/2 of the milk mixture. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Add the last half of the milk and stir together. Add the final dry ingredients and mix just until combined (don’t over mix or the muffins might be dense).
- Let the batter rest for 20-30 minutes if you have the time. It isn’t completely necessary but I think it gives the muffins a slightly higher rise than baking them right away. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Fill lightly greased muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake for 18-22 minutes until the tops spring back lightly to the touch. Don’t overbake; we don’t want dry muffins here.
- The cooled muffins can be stored covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or frozen.
I’ve only ever made these with 100% whole wheat flour but I think all-purpose could work just fine. I grind my own whole wheat flour which usually produces fluffier flour; if using storebought whole wheat flour, make sure to use a light hand when measuring (don’t pack the flour into the measuring cup).
Also, for measuring, I always tend to measure on the light side of things – fluffing the ingredients, scooping the cup in and leveling, as opposed to scooping in and shaking to level which packs more into the cup.
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Recipe Inspired: heavily adapted from a recipe in The Professional Pastry Chef (scaled the recipe down from 100 muffins, altered almost all of the ingredients, used whole wheat flour, decreased the butter and used coconut oil instead, and on and on)