Brown Butter Bran Muffins

Please note that this recipe calls for wheat bran, not bran cereal that you can eat straight from the box for breakfast! Wheat bran is the fibrous outer layer of the wheat grain: you can often see small flecks of it in your bag of whole wheat flour. 

Rich in dietary fiber as well as other nutrients, wheat bran is chock full of nutty goodness once toasted. Start with browning a stick of butter, then adding in the bran to let it lightly fry in the hot fatty mixture before scalding it with some boiling water. Letting it soak and hydrate for 10 minutes before incorporating all your other ingredients will help ease the straw-like character of bran. Optional pumpkin pie spice and fresh ginger are added to provide some warm flavors to the muffins and to complement the honey’s sweetness.

Due to the hardy nature of the bran and whole wheat flour, we recommend letting the muffins cool completely before eating: this will give the hearty grains a chance to absorb the moisture in the batter and soften to a more tender texture. You can toast and butter 'em, or just enjoy as is with a big bite through that crunchy turbinado sugar topping.

If you’ve made this recipe, please drop a comment down below and let us know how you liked it!

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Yields: 1 dozen
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins
1/2 c.

(1 stick) unsalted butter 

2 c.

wheat bran (90 g.)

2 tbsp.


1/2 c.

boiling water

1 1/2 c.

full-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 c.


1/2 c.

packed brown sugar


large eggs

1 tsp.

freshly grated ginger (optional)

1 1/4

whole wheat flour (160 g.)

2/3 c.

almond flour (80 g.)

1/2 tsp.

pumpkin pie spice (optional)

3/4 tsp.

baking soda

1 tsp.

baking powder 

1/2 tsp.

kosher salt

3 tbsp.

turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, brown butter. Add wheat bran and flaxseed, stirring constantly until toasted, 1 minute. Carefully pour in boiling water, and remove from heat. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes until bran softens and cools.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, brown sugar, eggs, and ginger (if using) until well combined. Stir in cooled bran mixture. Fold in flours, pumpkin pie spice (if using), baking soda, baking powder, and salt until just combined.
  3. Preheat oven to 375° and line a muffin tin with liners. Divide batter evenly between muffin liners, about ⅓ cup each, then sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar. 
  4. Bake until edges are golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 24 to 27 minutes.
  5. Let muffins cool completely before serving.
June Xie

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