When I was a little girl in Canada, there was a restaurant in Preston, Ontario called The Knotty Pine. They had a fancy steak house downstairs (I still remember the first time I was taken there – I felt SO grown up!), and upstairs there was a more relaxed restaurant that served lunches. There was also a lunch counter, where you could get a quick snack. My Dad used to stop in there a couple of times a week for a coffee and one of their famous bran muffins. Once in a while, he’d bring a half a dozen of them home for a treat. We loved them. They were seriously, seriously yummy – not too sweet, not too savoury, and full to the brim with raisins.
One day Dad came home with the secret recipe. I don’t know how he managed it, but somehow he got the restaurant manager to part with it. Half expecting it to have somehow been altered, as secret recipes often are, my Mom and I were delighted when the muffins we made using the recipe came out every bit as nice as the ones Dad brought home. I’ve been making them every since. The Knotty Pine closed years ago but these muffins always bring back wonderful memories of my parents and my first ‘fancy’ restaurant.
I first blogged this recipe several years ago and then back in 2009 I made a vlog demonstrating how to make them. You can see it by clicking here. Please be kind, it was one of my very first vlogs 🙂
Since then, I have reduced the sugar in this recipe from 1 cup to three-quarters of a cup. No one seems to have noticed and it makes the muffins a lot healthier. You can use ordinary milk in this recipe, but buttermilk adds a wonderful flavour if you do have some on hand. Please be sure to use ordinary wheat bran in this recipe, not bran cereal.
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil (sunflower and mild olive oil work well)
- 2 cups bran
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup of raisins or sultanas
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 180°C for a fan oven)
- Grease or put paper liners in a 12 cup muffin pan.
- Beat eggs in a large bowl.
- Add brown sugar and oil. Mix well.
- Sir in bran and cinnamon.
- Let the mixture stand for ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the bran mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Do this in four additions - two of the flour mixture and two of the buttermilk, ending with the buttermilk.
- Fold in the raisins.
- Fill muffin cups half full with batter.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Bran muffins freeze well. Thaw completely and bring to room temperature or warm before serving.
If you liked this recipe you may also enjoy my Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins.