Tag Archives: whole wheat flour

Apple Oat Bran Muffins

Remember when I took my go-to Quick Banana Bread and turned it into  Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread? It turned out very well, and it wasn’t the first time I had started with the simple recipe and made simple changes to achieve a different taste or texture. I changed it up once by taking out the banana and adding pumpkin for Skip the Bananas, Add Pumpkin: Nut Bread. I even used it to make Espresso Banana Walnut Bread. You get the point: one basic recipe that you like and that works is just waiting to help you make something new.

I’m in love with Buttermilk Bran Muffins, making them all the time to put in the freezer, so I can pop out just one for lunch whenever I’m in the mood. I love the strong sweetness of molasses and raisins, and the hearty combination of whole wheat flour and wheat bran. As I said in the original post, they are not really a dessert muffin, but they are just the kind of sweetness I like. So, it’s not that I need to make the recipe better; I just wanted to see how well it would adapt to a few other flavors. I made only a few changes to achieve a differently sweet muffin with a lighter crumb:

  • I replaced the raisins with roughly chopped unsweetened dried apples—the moist kind, not the crispy apple chips
  • I replaced the 2 cups whole wheat flour with 1 cup of the flour and 1 cup of whole grain rolled oats

That’s all. I kept the original wheat bran, the buttermilk, the molasses, etc. The resulting muffins have an interesting chewiness from the apples, and the oats made the muffin crumb a little more crumbly, but still moist. Most surprisingly, the molasses doesn’t dominate as it does in the original; I was worried that it would be too strong against the apple, but the apple and molasses create a totally different sweetness in this muffin.

Apple Oat Bran Muffins

  • Servings: 6-8 jumbo muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; butter a muffin tin or use paper liners.

Dry ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup whole grain rolled oats

1 1/2 cups wheat bran (I used Bob’s Red Mill miller’s wheat bran)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt (the recipe said 1/4 teaspoon)

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

Wet ingredients:

2 cups buttermilk (I used dried buttermilk, reconstituted)

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup molasses

4 tablespoons melted butter (the recipe said 2-4)

Additions:

1/2-3/4 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup unsweetened dried apples, roughly chopped (I probably could have chopped mine a little more)

  1. Combine the dry and wet ingredients separately; then mix them together until most of the dry ingredients are moist.
  2. Fold in the nuts and apples, mixing until all is combined. I used a stand mixer to mix all together just until combined. This is a wetter batter than the one that is all whole wheat.
  3. Scoop the batter into greased tins 3/4 full and bake for about 25 minutes.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

I’m taking my go-to banana bread recipe and making a few changes—tasty changes, I hope:

  • Instead of 2 cups of all purpose flour, I’m using 1 cup of that with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of oatmeal—more fiber
  • For the shortening, that I always interpreted as butter, I’m using extra virgin coconut oil—good flavor, but the jury is still out on heart health
  • The 1 cup of sugar is always a problem. I’ve never been happy with the blends that use less sugar in baking, but I’m still on that search. In this batch, I’m substituting brown sugar, which I hope will keep this batch, with all it’s whole grains, moist. To avoid eating too much sugar, I’ll do what I always do, freeze the bread in servings to assure I only eat one a day. I do this successfully with muffins, one of which makes a nice lunch.
  • I’m adding a full cup of chopped walnuts, roughly chopped for large pieces.

Well, that was yesterday. I wrapped the cool loaf to sit overnight and develop its flavors—this really happens. I cut the large loaf into 8 thick slices and wrapped them individually for the freezer, leaving one out for breakfast. This might be my new go-to banana bread. The banana taste was prominent, the bread moist and chunky with walnuts. The oats added a chewiness, and while I couldn’t pick out the whole wheat flour, it must have added its own characteristics to the bread. Finally, I think the brown sugar played a large part in the overall flavor.

And I still assert that the best banana bread recipes do not use baking powder, which adds a bitterness with banana.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Banana Bread

  • Servings: 1 large or 2 small loaves
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; butter and flour 1 9″ x 5″ or 2 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Beat in

  • 2 eggs

Add

  • 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed or broken into chunks

Stir in the dry ingredients and nuts

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake the large loaf for about 55 minutes, the smaller loaves for 45-50 minutes. Test the center with a toothpick for doneness.

 

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

I suppose you’ve seen the Molasses Ginger cookies featured on my home page, and maybe I’ve said that oatmeal-raisin are my all-time favorite cookie, so it should come as no surprise that bran muffins with molasses and raisins are my favorite muffin. I’m just making six large muffins, instead of a dozen small ones—or as the recipe suggests twenty-two 2″ muffins. This recipe from my old Joy of Cooking (1967, p. 581) uses buttermilk, helping these hefty muffins retain some tenderness. I’m also adding some chopped walnuts with the raisins for a little crunch.

I would not call these a dessert muffin

I wouldn’t serve these on a dessert plate with a cup of tea. I think of them as more of a slightly-sweet bread to eat for lunch with lots of butter and cream cheese and a big mug of coffee. They are not for the faint of heart.

The amount of batter the recipe makes is odd—maybe the muffin pans were different in 1967. It filled my jumbo muffin pan with enough left over for a small loaf pan. I couldn’t find my little individual loaf pans, after rearranging the cupboards recently, so I ended up filling a small 7 3/8″ x 3 5/8″ loaf pan about half full.

The recipe offered two optional ingredients that I did not have on hand, but that I think would add very nice flavor and moisture: orange zest and mashed banana. I’m particularly interested in adding the orange next time.

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

  • Servings: 6-8 large muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; butter a muffin tin or use paper liners.

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran (I used Bob’s Red Mill miller’s wheat bran)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (the recipe said 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons grated orange rind)

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 cups buttermilk (I used whole buttermilk)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter (the recipe said 2-4)

Additions:

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Optional: 1/2 cup mashed bananas

Preparation

  1. Combine the dry and wet ingredients separately; then mix them together until most of the dry ingredients are moist.
  2. Fold in the nuts and raisins, mixing until all is combined. I did all my mixing with a large wooden spoon instead of a mixer, as muffin batters produce a better crumb if not overmixed. A muffin should be coarse in grain, instead of soft and fine like a cake—but clearly there are different kinds of muffins for different purposes.
  3. Spoon the heavy batter into greased tins 3/4 full and bake for about 25 minutes.

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Chunky Apple Walnut Cake

I’m not sure where I copied this recipe from, but it’s on a post-it note, so it can’t be older than the late 70s. I just know that this whole wheat cake is an old favorite; it’s dense and moist and full of all sorts of fall flavors. Better yet, it improves with age. I didn’t include the pan size or preparation on the note, but luckily I remember that it fits the 9″ x 13″ pan, and just for good measure I buttered and floured it first.

Today, I used golden delicious apples, but the recipe doesn’t specify a type, so you could try your favorite. I kept the apple chunks and walnuts cut in larger chunks to add to that homey, rustic feeling. Of course, you could gild it with whipped cream or ice cream or hard sauce, but it is great as is. Note that the batter will start out seeming too thick, but keep mixing after the apples are added and they will release moisture into the batter. Trust me. That’s why I use the stand mixer.

Someday, I might try a few changes, like substituting agave syrup for some of the sugar or adding oatmeal for part of the flour.

Chunky Apple Walnut Cake

  • Servings: makes 12 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 350°; grease and flour a 9″ x 13″ baking pan (I used whole wheat flour here, too)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped in large chunks (mine were Golden Delicious)

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

  1. Mix the sugars, eggs, vanilla, and oil until combined.
  2. Stir in the dry ingredients. The batter will be thick at this point, but keep stirring until combined.
  3. Stir in the nuts and apple chunks and keep mixing until the apples have moistened the batter.
  4. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes, checking to make sure the edges don’t get too browned (I hate that).
  6. Let cool in the pan on a rack. You can eat it when cool enough to cut, but I find it even better the next day.