I promise I’m gonna show you how to make these delicious, old fashioned, easily customizable, from scratch bran muffins in this post, but I gotta drive around the bend a bit first…
Have you ever eaten at a Picadilly restaurant? My great grandmother used to consider that one of the greatest dining treats! I have to admit, I’d much rather go to a cafeteria for lunch than an “upscale” restaurant. My tastebuds get far more excited about boiled cabbage and carved beef than a glass of wine and a …well whatever those places serve with wine.
Growing up, I’m sure there were nicer restaurants in Huntsville, but they didn’t exist in my little world. Every now and then on Sundays my grandparents would pick up Kentucky Fried chicken to go with our dinner and they’d take us out to eat at Piccadilly on very special occasions. On birthdays we’d get to go to Mullin’s Drive In, where I still find myself gravitating a few times a year for a small hamburger and an order of broasted potatoes.
Nowadays my favorite local haunt is The Blue Plate Cafe, a meat and three that is only open for breakfast and lunch. If you ever go there, ask for Selvenia, she’s a waitress who dishes up hugs along with sides of peach cobbler, and look up Jerry Sparks and tell him I sent ya – maybe he’ll send me an extra helping of tomato and cucumber salad next time I’m in! Speaking of Blue Plate, what a thrill for me to be featured in the latest issue of Alabama Magazine – which also lists Blue Plate as one of the “must try” restaurants in Huntsville! There is a big feature on me and my family (I love the photos) and another feature on my hometown and all there is to do here in the latest issue of Alabama Magazine. So if you live near the heart of Dixie, be sure and pick up a copy.
Now where was I before I went off in the ditch? Picadilly, yes! My favorite part about eating at Picadilly is that you can usually get a bran muffin as the bread to go with your meal – and I dearly love bran muffins.
With that in mind, I’m bringing you my incredibly versatile bran muffin recipe. These can be made plain, or you can add in your favorites mix-ins. They can be made only slightly sweet for a dinner bread or muffin-sweet for a breakfast muffin or dessert.
This is just a good basic bran muffin recipe so feel free to make them exactly as I am in this tutorial or run for the hills with it!
See? If you stick with me long enough eventually you will be rewarded by me getting to my point! ~grins~
OH! If you’re looking for the recipe using Raisin Bran cereal, just click here to visit that post. I actually like these I’m about to show a little better though!
You’ll need: Wheat Bran, Vegetable Oil (or melted butter), Self Rising Flour*, Buttermilk, Vanilla, Egg, Brown Sugar, and Dried Cranberries and Walnuts – but you can use different add ins if you prefer them to the cranberries and walnuts.
*If you don’t have self rising flour, see my FAQ page on how to make your own
If you want to make your own buttermilk, here is an easy way. For each cup of milk, add 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and allow to sit for five minutes before using.
Finding Wheat Bran – Wheat Bran is the hard thing to find here. If you have a health food grocery store near you, they should have it. I seldom go to those though because they are just so stinking expensive. I understand that it’s worth it and all that…but understanding that doesn’t soften the blow to my wallet or make money magically appear. My Krogers has an organic foods section and I can usually find it there, but I always have to look pretty good in order to find it.
Place your wheat bran and buttermilk in a bowl.
Stir well. It will look kind of like sawdust paste
Add in egg, oil (or melted butter), brown sugar, and vanilla and stir well once more.
Add all remaining ingredients.
Note: I’m using chopped walnuts and dried cranberries but you can use whatever you like.
Get started customizing by adding 1/2 to 1 cup of any of the following or a combination of the following:
- chopped nuts of your choice (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, etc)
- Dried Cranberries, raisins, dried blueberries, chopped dried peaches, chopped dried apples, etc
- finely chopped fresh apple
- fresh grated carrots
- Seriously, pretty much anything you’ve got a hankering for!
Stir until it’s well combined.
You’re not supposed to eat it at this point because it has raw eggs in it. I would never do such a harrowing thing as tasting raw batter. No sirreee…not me.
~licks the spoon~
Oh, by the way this is a Pyrex bowl in a pattern called “New Dot”.
Spoon out into 12 muffin cups.
You can either line them with muffin papers or just spray your muffin tin with cooking spray.
I have done both but I usually put these in muffin papers because I like to freeze them and it just makes it a little easier.
I have a “stunt muffin pan” that I usually use for photos but it was way back in the cabinet and this one hopped out first so I guess it was feeling neglected. I had Mama look over this post before I sent it out and she called to say “The post looks good, but I can’t believe you used that ugly old muffin pan…” I’m just keeping it real. Oh the tangent I could go off on about folks talking ugly and hiding behind the phrase “keeping it real”….but I’ll spare you that one today.:)
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the top.
Allow to cool for a few minutes in muffin pan and then remove to cool completely on a towel lined counter or platter. Can serve warm, of course!
To freeze: Cool completely. Place in zipper seal gallon sized bags and freeze. Thaw by wrapping in paper towel and heating in the microwave until heated through, about 45 seconds or so.
What do you like in your bran muffins?
I’m giving away a complete Dollywood Vacation including tickets to the park, tickets to the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show, Tickets to Splash Country, AND A Cabin! Click here for details. Contest closes Tuesday, May 15th at midnight!
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse
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