Bran Muffins

So I disappeared off the blogosphere this last week. I did warn you that I might. I had a full week of observations on site, a Saturday morning tutorial (I think I now know more about Stalin than I did when I sat my History finals. Great Terror anyone?) and then I hopped on the train down to London to visit the Princess. I’m back now and am trying to catch up on all the work I missed over the weekend. I’m behind in my field notes (ssshhh!) and way behind in my reading. But the weekend was totally worth it. It was bright and sunny on Sunday and we had a lovely time wandering aimlessly about the city, with no real purpose except to eat and watch Skyfall.

Because I knew I wasn’t going to have a moment to breathe between last week Wednesday and this week I decided I would get organised and make breakfast that can be eaten easily on trains and is easily transportable. I get up ridiculously early two days of the week and because I am not a morning person, I tend to leave minimal time between having to get out of bed and having to leave the house. The amount of time it takes me to wash and dress basically, so I need breakfast that I can take and eat once I’m settled on my train. It also needs to keep me full for hours. These muffins perform that task to perfection. They’re dense and chewy and slightly sweet. My mother used to make them for breakfast occasionally and this recipe is the one she used. She did, on several occasions, add in the dreaded raisin but I leave those out. Why ruin a perfectly good muffin with a raisin? I ask you.These make 12 muffins. I froze almost all of them – separated into pairs in neat plastic bags so I can take them out the night before I need them to defrost and then transport them easily. I consider them proper comfort food and, when eating them straight out of the oven, prefer to lather them in butter and honey. For convenience now I eat them plain. The recipe is quite variable. You can substitute the honey for maple syrup or golden syrup. You could add in raisins/cherries/cranberries. You could add in walnuts/pecans.

Bran Muffins
Makes 12
1 1/2 cups all bran
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/4 cup wholewheat flour
1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sunflower oil
2 tbsp honey/maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 200C and grease a 12 hole muffin tray.
Pour the boiling water over the all bran and set aside.
Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.

Whisk the egg, buttermilk, oil and honey together and then add to the bran mixture. Stir to combine. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Dollop the mixture into the muffin tray and bake for 15 minutes, until the muffins are golden and cooked through.

Cool slightly and eat with butter and honey.