Six Week Bran Muffins

Continuing in the trial of the recipes on the recipe cards I wrote out many years ago, I decided to try the Six Week Bran Muffins. The idea behind this recipe is that you make a huge batch of batter and store it in the refrigerator for up to six weeks. Whenever you want fresh bran muffins, you simply scoop up the amount you want and bake up a few.

Now, I’ve been cooking and baking for a very long time. My mother, as I’ve written before, had me baking by the age of seven. I’ve been baking ever since. But because I’ve been baking for such a long time, you can imagine that some of my bakeware might be a little on the old side. You’d be correct. Recently, I decided to update some of my baking tins… cake tins, cookie sheets, etc. This morning, I splurged on some silicon muffin cups, with the intention of trying them with these bran muffins.

6week bran muffins3

I dislike the thought of having to use a 12 cup muffin tin just to make 4 or 6 muffins. This way, I can make up just a few muffins, put the cups in a cake pan and bake up only as many as I want. After all, it’s just John and me and if I bake up a batch of 12 muffins, they end up in the freezer, usually forgotten, or they get stale and thrown out. Besides, I much prefer fresh muffins to frozen!

After having baked up a small batch of muffins, six of them, I’ve decided I like the silicon muffin cups. And as far as the muffins go, John’s verdict? Mm, nice! Yup, this recipe’s a keeper, too. He liked the size of the muffins as well (I bought two sizes of silicon muffin cups, these and a set of four larger cups). Neither of us likes those giant sized muffins everyone serves these days. We much prefer a smaller muffin and if we want a second one, we don’t have to feel guilty about over eating.

6week bran muffins2

The recipe doesn’t indicate how many muffins it makes but I would hazard a guess to say it will make close to 10 dozen medium sized bran muffins. Obviously, if you use larger muffin cups, you’ll get less. At any rate, it makes a LOT of muffins!

6week bran muffins

That’s a lot of batter!

Incidentally, I checked online to see if I could find a similar recipe and, though there are plenty of recipes for Six Week Bran Muffins, none of them are exactly like this one… that I could find, at any rate.

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Six Week Bran Muffins

[printable version]

Stir together:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 5 tsp. baking soda

Cool to room temperature

In a large bowl, cream together:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar (white or brown)

Add:

  • 4 eggs, one at a time
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • cooled water and baking soda

In another bowl, mix:

  • 2 cups bran
  • 4 cups All-Bran cereal
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Add to first mixture. Pour into lined muffin tins. Bake at 400ºF for 20-25 minutes. Store batter, covered, in the refrigerator and bake as needed.

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Adventures in Eating Gluten Free

I’ve been inspired by my daughter. She’s recently discovered that she’s gluten intolerant and has altered her eating habits accordingly. She was in town this past week for a job interview and I can tell you, she looks marvellous! She’s lost weight, and she looks healthy. It’s a wonderful thing to see. While she was here, we took some time to visit the bulk food store in the same complex where I work. I had told her about the great gluten free flours section and thought she might like to see it for herself and, perhaps, to buy some to take home. She did.

One of the results of seeing Kristen and hearing her talk of her adventures in eating gluten free (as well, she’s no longer eating meat, except for seafood and, occasionally, chicken… for health reasons… beef does nasty things to her intestines), we’ve tossed around the idea of reducing the wheat based foods in our diet. I, however, am a bread fiend. I love bread in all its forms. However, if I can bake gluten free and still get good results, I’m more than willing to give it a try. Though I may never go completely gluten free, I’m more than happy to experiment.

Then she posted about a muffin recipe she’d made. You can find her post here. Well, I started doing some research online and searched high and low for a website I had stumbled across last week that described how to make your own all-purpose gluten free flour mix. Do you think I could find it again? Eventually, I did and the website, Gluten-free Girl and the Chef, certainly has a wealth of information. While exploring Gluten Free Girl’s website, I came across a recipe for Gluten Free Whole Grain muffins and decided to give it a try. In the post, which you can find here, she gives options on making your own whole grain flour mix and the ratios of flours to starches. I made a blend using flours I had on hand: corn flour, almond flour, and buckwheat flour (70% of the mix). I used rice flour as my starch (30% of the mix).

The remainder of the recipe was followed pretty much as written. At the end, when adding the raisins and walnuts, I also threw in a handful of hemp hearts and some millet, both of which I quite like in muffins.

The result?

I’m pleasantly surprised at how well they rose.

gfmuffins

The texture looks good, almost cake-like.

gfmuffins2

And the flavour? Mmm… Almost bran muffin-ish. Not overly sweet, which is not a bad thing at all.

gfmuffins3

Will I make these again? Yup, definitely! Even John gave his stamp of approval!

I’m already looking forward to experimenting with different flours.

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Gluten Free Whole Grain Muffins

[printable version]

Adapted from the recipe by Gluten-Free Girl

  • 350 grams whole-grain flour mix (I used a blend of buckwheat, corn, almond, and rice flours)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 180 grams dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 grams buttermilk
  • 100 grams grapeseed oil
  • handful raisins
  • handful walnuts
  • handful of millet seeds
  • handful of hemp hearts

Preheat the oven to 350*. Grease a large muffin tin thoroughly or line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk them together to combine and aerate.

Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and grapeseed oil until they are combined well. Add them to the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula until the batter is almost fully combined. Throw in the raisins, walnuts, millet and hemp hearts and continue stirring until all trace of flour is gone.

Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake until the muffins are browned with a bit of a crunch, the top springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out cleanl, about 25 minutes to 35 minutes.

Makes about 15 muffins.

Cheese and Bacon Swirls

We eat well. Generally speaking, our meals are healthy and balanced. But there are days around here when neither of us feels like cooking. Yesterday was one of those days. John’s been fighting a headache all day and I worked. It was busy! After work, I had a doctor’s appointment (nothing serious, just a prescription renewal) and the thought of getting home and relaxing was a welcome one.

On the way home, John commented that there were really no leftovers left in the fridge and he hadn’t taken anything out of the freezer so Grilled Cheese sandwiches sounded pretty good. Thing is, I’d had a Grilled Cheese sandwich for dinner the previous night, so I didn’t really feel like having another one.

I decided on biscuits, bacon, and eggs. While perusing the recipe, though, I decided to change to Cheese and Bacon Swirls. Real heart healthy, I know. Sometimes, though, you just want something that’s easy, comforting, hot, and… well, just yummy!

This recipe is based on the old stand-by, Baking Powder Biscuits. Once the dough is made, with cheese in it, it’s rolled out to an 18x9x1/4″ rectangle, brushed with melted butter and mustard and sprinkled with crisp, cooked bacon. I did say it’s anything but heart healthy, right? It’s then rolled up and sliced, then baked.

A light salad and a cup of Assam tea on the side and I was happy! Obviously, it’s not the greatest dinner but these would be lovely on a lazy Saturday morning… instead of a cinnamon roll (I prefer savoury to sweet, anyway).

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Cheese and Bacon Swirls

[printable version]

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded aged Cheddar
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter melted
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices crisp, cooked, and crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 450ºF

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the grated Cheddar cheese and celery seed; mix well. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the milk all at once. Stir quickly with a fork until the dough comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead gently 10 – 12 strokes (the less handling the better).

Roll out the dough to a 18 x 9 x 1/4″ rectangle. Blend the melted butter and the Dijon mustard and brush the mixture over the dough; sprinkle with the bacon bits. Beginning at the long side, roll up the dough like you would a jelly roll; seal the edge and cut into 1/2″ slices. Bake, cut side down, on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet for about 12 minutes.

Makes 20