Mum worked in a couple of cafes when I was at school and I have fond memories of those wholesome wholemeal muffins from the 70s. Times and words change of course, and in the 2000s it seemed you could call any small cupcake a muffin as long as it wasn’t iced. In 2018, anything goes! This is awesome for freedom and choice, but it left me hankering for something with a bit of body and depth of flavour. So when Mum offered me a freshly baked bran muffin recently I was transported back to that glorious time when molasses and bran wove their dark and sticky charms to make little bundles of yum. What really caught my attention was that she hadn’t used any butter, eggs or milk and they still had a great moist-but-light texture. After 40 years of muffin-making she’s become a legend of the art and has generously allowed me to share her secrets with you. Blueberries are an optional ingredient and what I’ve done a few times is to spoon out the first six dollops of mixture then add a few berries to the remaining six, creating a mixed dozen. These are great for lunchboxes and keep really well in the freezer, ready to pull out when wanted. It’s also a trick I use to avoid eating too many on the pretext that they need using up.
For the wet ingredients
|¼ cup||Golden syrup|
|½ cup||Rice bran oil|
|2 large||Bananas, (ripe) mashed until wet|
|¾ cup||Soy milk, (I used Vitasoy unsweetened)|
For the dry ingredients
|1 cup||White standard flour|
|1 cup||Wholemeal flour (Main)|
|1 cup||Wheat bran|
|2 tsp||Powdered ginger|
|3 tsp||Baking powder|
|1 ½ tsp||Baking soda|
|½ cup||Coconut sugar, or brown sugar|
|1||Orange, finely grated rind only|
|1||Lemon, finely grated rind only|
|1 cup||Sultanas (Main)|
|1 cup||Frozen blueberries, (optional) (Main)|
- Heat oven to 180C fan bake.
- Warm wet ingredients in a bowl resting in hot water while you prep the dry mix.
- Measure dry ingredients into a big bowl and use a fork to combine well (sift baking powder and baking soda through a sieve if any lumps).
- Add wet mix to dry mix and stir as little as possible to fully combine. If using blueberries, stir these in quickly right at the end to avoid their colour staining the whole mixture.
- The mixture should be wet enough to easily drop off a spoon in a big clump. If too dry, add a little more soymilk. If too wet, add a little more wholemeal flour.
- Spoon into an oiled muffin tray, filling each pan to just above the top.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is golden brown. If your muffin tray is smaller and you get more than 12, bake for 15 minutes, then test whether they're cooked in the middle.
- Allow to set for a couple of minutes then remove from tray and cool on a cake rack so bases aren't soggy.