|The tops are cracked open already because I just nestled in the butter to melt.|
Having a bucket of muffin batter in your fridge is a happy thing. It means that warm, tasty goodness is 15 minutes + oven preheating away. It's been a while since I've done a Monday Muffins post, so I wanted to give you an inexpensive, long-lasting recipe that just does a body good.
I first tried these muffins when Debbie, of Salmon with Oranges fame, gave me a hot one oozing with a pat of butter. Oh goodness, that was delish! Of course, I asked for the recipe. It involved buying a name brand bran cereal and soaking it in hot water until the cereal turned into mush. So--I'd first pay to have that bran processed into a cereal shape, then in order to use it in the recipe I'd undo the processing I'd already paid for? Must be a more frugal way, I thought.
And there is! Buying a box of unprocessed bran saves a bunch of money on these muffins. Making your own buttermilk saves a bit more!
Frugal Bran Muffins (adapted from the Hodgson Mill Box) ((makes several dozen))3 cups unprocessed bran, divided
1 cup water (see My Favorite Things for my new favorite kettle!)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups (480 ml) buttermilk
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with oil spray or use paper liners. In a small bowl mix boiling water and 1 cup bran. Toss the butter on top to melt, and set aside. In a large bowl mix eggs, buttermilk and brown sugar. Stir in soaked bran until well-blended. Dump dry ingredients (rest of bran, flour, salt and soda) on top and stir just until combined. Scoop** into muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
This batter keeps up to a month in the fridge, so you can bake just the amount you want. The top of the batter will darken when exposed to oxygen. You can cover it with plastic wrap or just stir it in like I do. You're welcome to add raisins, dried Michigan cherries, chocolate chips, frozen berries, or nuts to the batter the day you bake, for added interest. I wouldn't leave those items in long term though.
**My scoop holds 3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) by volume, though the muffin batter is mounded in the scoop so I'm pretty sure I'm putting a good 3 ½ to 4 Tablespoons into each muffin well. The muffin wells in my regular muffin pans each hold 3 ounces by volume.
These muffins are shared with the clever chicks at the Clever Chicks Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty, What's Cookin' Wednesday at Buns In My Oven, What's In The Box at In Her Chucks, Taste and Tell Thursdays, and the Farm Girl Blog Fest at Let This Mind Be In You.