With the Blanquette de Veau on the menu this past Sunday evening, I wanted to start the day with something a little more friendly to the heart and waistline. I am sure many of you would like to enjoy the health benefits of a bran muffin, but are scarred by biting into a dense, dry and flat tasting baked good. This recipe will help heal those wounds and will have you looking at date bran muffins in a whole new light.
Upon first look at the recipe, you'll notice that there are several different types of wheat products. There is your everyday all-purpose flour, some whole wheat pastry flour, wheat bran, and wheat germ. Avoid using regular whole wheat flour in lieu of the whole wheat pastry flour. That would be one of the culprits of that dry and dense muffin syndrome. Sweetness comes from the addition of a little light brown sugar, orange juice concentrate (do not dilute), and the dried dates. I like to process the dates in the food processor with the other dry ingredients so there are little specks of dates throughout each muffin and not big chunks. It really adds to the taste and texture. A pleasant tang from some buttermilk and a little spice from cinnamon and vanilla help to provide a healthy and satisfying start to the day. Well, that is if you don't slather on a good schmear of honey butter. But why would you want to do a thing like that☺??
Date Bran Muffins
yields 18 standard muffins
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup raw wheat bran
1/4 cup wheat germ, lightly toasted in a skillet
6-ounces dried pitted dates, roughly chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup neutral oil, like Canola or Safflower
1 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Honey butter (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 375º F. Lightly grease or line with paper liners 16 standard muffin cups; set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor combine the flours, wheat bran, wheat germ, and dates. Pulse until the dates are finely minced. Add the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse to combine; transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In separate medium bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, orange concentrate, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry; stirring just until moistened. (The batter should be airy.)
Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are springy and dry. Remove from the oven and let the muffins rest in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins to a rack and let cool for another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with honey butter. Enjoy!
Source: ?? Adapted from a Cook Memorial Library book that I cannot seem to find. But when I do, I will source it asap ☺.
1/2 cup (4-ounces) honey butter, softened
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients until smooth; set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
Source: The Galley Gourmet