Bread Dessert Grains Recipe Testing

Revising a Recipe without a Parachute

We’ve had enough days of cold and snow to bring out a desire for some big bran muffins full of walnuts and raisins. Of course I already have a pretty perfect Buttermilk Bran Muffin recipe, just not all of its ingredients. So I just started throwing items in as substitutes, without doing the kinds of searches for correct substitutes that I might usually do.

  • I  had almost 1 1/3 cups of whole wheat flour, but needed 2 cups, so I filled the missing flour with all-purpose flour
  • The wheat bran looked to be about 1 cup, but I needed 2 cups. Whatever, I just threw in what I had and moved on
  • I didn’t have any molasses, so necessary to the typical bran muffin flavor, so I used some dark brown sugar in the same amount
  • I didn’t have any buttermilk, but I had about 1 1/2 cups of sour cream, so I threw that in, plus one container of no-sugar-added vanilla Greek yogurt to make up the 2 cups or so
  • I added a full cup of chopped walnuts instead of the 1/2 cup in the original and lots of raisins, probably more than the 1/2 cup called for
  • Instead of filling the muffin cups to the usual 2/3 full, I scooped in the thick batter so that it towered over the tops like scoops of ice cream in a cone

I wondered if any of these substitutions would adversely affect the texture or flavor of the final bread, but they turned out very good. Lighter in color and sweeter than I expected, these alternative bran muffins fulfilled my desire for a hefty and flavorful winter muffin. Follow the link above for the original recipe and experiment with your own substitutions.


  1. Recipes truly are just guidelines, even in baking where all ingredients are precisely measured.But when you’re a savvy baker as yourself and know what substitutions can be made many times the results are brilliant! Today I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies but I didn’t have any eggs, and since it is snowing like crazy here, I wasn’t going to jump in my boat to go to the store. The egg replacement I used was ground flax seed mixed to a thick paste with water. Yep, good cookies, don’t miss the eggs. In fact I may make them with flax from now on. 🙂


      1. I ground them in my coffee grinder. I used 1/3 cup flax seed. After I ground them I put them in my blender and added about a cup of water and blended till it was thick. It instructs 6Tbls = 2 eggs. But you know I misread and only put 2 Tbls in the cookie recipe instead of 6 and they still came out great- go figure!

        Liked by 1 person


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