Why It Works
- Pre-hydration prevents bran flakes from drying out the muffin batter.
- Cold yogurt and eggs help cool the hot bran, speeding the process along.
- Greek yogurt keeps the batter thick, so the muffins rise with a beautiful dome.
- A touch of all-purpose flour provides structure, so the muffins don't crumble apart.
I love the hearty taste and texture of whole grain flour plus an extra dose of bran, which makes these muffins as cozy as a cable knit sweater. Don't be alarmed by the seemingly outrageous quantity of cinnamon: Its flavor is diluted to a gentle back note by the sheer volume of the muffin batter. I like to finish these muffins with a sprinkling of flax for crunch, but a sprinkling of bran flakes will crisp up nicely as well. Bran muffins bake best in a nonstick pan, which gives them a beautifully rounded dome (more on that here).
- 2 ounces wheat bran, such as Bob’s Red Mill (1 cup; 55g)
- 8 ounces boiling water (1 cup; 225g)
- 4 ounces plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (1/2 cup; 115g)
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 6 1/2 ounces whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups; 185g)
- 5 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon; 155g)
- 5 1/4 ounces sugar (3/4 cup; 150g)
- 1/2 ounce ground cinnamon (1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (3g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, soft and creamy—about 68°F (20°C)(12 tablespoons; 170g)
- 6 ounces golden raisins (1 cup; 170g), optional
- 3/4 ounce flaxseed (3 tablespoons; 20g), optional
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F (177°C). In a large measuring cup, combine wheat bran and boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir in Greek yogurt and eggs. Meanwhile, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is incorporated, then add bran mixture and continue only until the batter is well combined. With a flexible spatula, scrape the bowl and fold the batter once or twice to make sure it's well mixed from the bottom up, then fold in the raisins if using.
Divide the batter between 12 lightly greased muffin cups, about 4 ounces (1/2 cup; 115g) each. This is enough to completely fill each cup with a little mountain of batter, but do not be alarmed; it will rise significantly but spread very little overall. If you like, sprinkle with flaxseed, and bake until puffed and firm, about 18 minutes. Serve warm, and store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Stand mixer, nonstick or aluminum muffin pan
Avoid Greek yogurt thickened with gum, gelatin, or pectin. Look for brands that contain only milk and active cultures; this recipe was tested with both Fage and Chobani.