Annals of Eating: Not So Regular Bran Muffins for the Irregular

Bran muffins serve one purpose and one purpose only. So does bran cereal, for that matter. People don’t eat bran because it tastes good, people eat it because it makes them poop.

In case you haven’t been told, pooping is the natural consequence of eating. What goes in must come out, so they say. I am sorry to write about this on my food blog, but it’s a topic that needed to be broached. We all poop: deal with it.

When I say “we all poop: deal with it” I do not mean to imply that we all poop to the same degree. Some of us poop at a 45 degree angle. Haha, that was poop humor.

What I’m trying to say is that some of us poop more frequently than others. Julia Child, for example, poops three times a day. Go Julia!

My own personal poop situation falls into the category of “too much information for my gentle blog-reading audience.” Suffice it to say that I felt the duty (haha, duty) to make, tonight, Nancy Silverton’s recipe for Bran Muffins.

Nancy’s recipe appealed to me because #1, my diet requires bran at the moment and #2 (haha, #2), she has all these quirky elements like grated orange zest and pulverized raisin mash.

Let’s get on with it Nancy, do-do that voodoo that you do so well. Hehe, dodo.

[If this blog were my job, I’d be fired right around now.]

Now then it is late (2:30!) and I have not the time to take you through the entire recipe with ingredients, etc. If you’d like that I suppose I could type it up at some point. But for now, enjoy my pretty pictures.

We take 2 cups of unprocessed bran


and toast it for 6 minutes in a 350 degree oven:


Next we take 1.5 cups of raisins and add 1 cup of water to a sauce pan:


Simmer on low heat until water is absorbed:


Then pulverize:


To the toasted bran we’ve added buttermilk and water, and now we add the raisin mixture and grated orange zest:


Soon we add flour and brown sugar and eggs and egg whites and baking soda and baking powder and–phew!–stir it all up, pour into the muffin tin, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Here’s the result:


Ok looks a little, lumpy but I tore a top off and it was delicious:


Really, the secret’s in the raisin mush: keeps the muffins moist. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the muffins out of the muffin tin without tearing the tops off: so I’ll wrap in plastic wrap and call it a night.

Let me conclude by apologizing for the “distastefulness” of this post. For those of you that were offended, please know that this post does not represent the fine work that we do here at The Amateur Gourmet. Usually, we are much more classy, much more tactful. And for those of you who were NOT offended by this post, perhaps you might enjoy photographs of the “end result,” if you know what I mean? That’s available if you click below.


13 thoughts on “Annals of Eating: Not So Regular Bran Muffins for the Irregular”

  1. For the record, I personally enjoy bran muffins, bran cereal, and various other bran products for taste and texture, not for, one might say, secondary reasons. I have ever since I was a little kid. My parents thought it was kind of weird when I was eight and eating one bowl after another of All-Bran. I guess I’m the exception to the rule.

  2. Actually, I thought the picture of the “muffin top” *was* the “end result.”

    I kid, I kid. Although the spreading of the muffins is troubling. Maybe I will try this; Lord knows I could use some more bran right about now.

  3. Like Susan, I too eat bran voluntarily. It’s good – eapecially with buttermilk, bananas, raisins, brown sugar. Yum.

  4. I’m with Susan: Bran = Yummy! Whenever I was in charge of choosing cereal for our table at Girl Scout Camp, I never understood why everyone got so mad…

    Anyway, Adam, please post your direct Rate My Poo link so we may reward your efforts with the appropriate vote…

    [And no, my feelings won’t be hurt if you edit this comment – ha!]

  5. I’ve heard a good enema does the trick.

    I’ve bee meaning to tell you this: I was going through old issues of Cook Illustrated at my mom’s this weekend and someone wrote in about their homemmade sorbet/ ice cream getting too hard in the fridge. Turns out it’s the ration of SUGAR to LIQUID that causes this. Including liquid and sugar that comes out of fruit you add. Too much sugar= too soft ice cream and too much liquid= too hard. So… food for thought.

  6. Ok Jessica, I’ll get some finger exercise and type up the recipe for you…but fair warning, they are VERY effective. Very.

    You will need:

    1/2-cup-capacity muffin tin, lightly coated with melted butter


    2 cups unprocessed bran

    1.5 cups raisins

    1/2 cup buttermilk

    1 tsp orange zest

    1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

    1/2 cup vegetable oil

    1 extra-large egg

    1 extra-large egg white

    1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

    1/4 cup stone-ground whole-wheat flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    1 tsp baking soda

    1/2 tsp kosher salt

    Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Spread the bran on a baking sheet and toast for 6 to 8 minutes, until toasted, stirring halfway through to ensure that it doesn’t burn.

    In a small saucepan, stir together 1 cup of the raisins and 1 cup of the water and simmer on low heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Place in a blender or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and process until pureed.

    Pour the bran into a large bowl, addthe buttermilk and remaining 1/2 cup of water and stir to combine. Stir in the raisin puree, orange zest, and brown sugar.

    Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the raisin mixture. Add the remaining whole raisins and stir to combine.

    Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling the cups to just over the rim and mounding the batter slightly.

    Bake for about 25 minutes until the muffins are well browned and firm to the touch.

    Yield: 10 colon-blowing muffins.

  7. I don’t know whether to laugh or throw up! I have to agree with nick. I thought the muffins were the “end result”!

  8. the amazing kim

    Well that’s great, but where do the eggs go? Do you keep them until easter and paint them or what?

  9. I love raisin bran muffins and bran cereal, in fact, I wish it didn’t make you poop because it is a hassle. WHY CAN’T I JUST ENJOY MY MUFFIN WITHOUT SIDE-EFFECTS!?

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