Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bumble #1: Raisin Bran Muffins

You know the Alanis song, "You Learn"? She sings a whole bunch about learning by praying, crying, screaming, and choking, but I think she forgot about learning by baking. Because I sure did all of the above when I tried to bake and then sampled the nasty raisin bran muffins that I made for Rayzor's Friday staff meeting.

Rayzor asked me about a week ago to bake two dozen muffins for his staff meeting tomorrow, and I readily agreed. Initially, I had only planned on baking one flavour, but as the days passed, I got more and more ambitious and opted to make 4 flavours. The thing is, the recipes I used were all pulled and adapted from recipes found from various websites, so I didn't really have any sense of whether they were tested and approved or not.

Fortunately for me (and Rayzor), and unfortunately for my colleagues, I brought these raisin bran muffins to MY workplace today and discovered that they tasted terrible. Needless to say, I tossed all of the muffins I prepared for Rayzor and baked up a new batch for him to take tomorrow.

So what was so wrong with these muffins? For one, I found them very dry and too branny. But the worse part was that they seemed super-salty. Like spit-right-out-as-soon-as-you-take-a-bite-and-gulp-down-3-glasses-of-water salty.

If I were to bake these again, and I doubt I would, I would definitely cut the amount of salt used in half. Perhaps I could also substitute another cup of flour for one of the cups of bran to reduce the bran taste.

However, I'd be much more interested in hearing about a Bran muffin recipe that isn't dry and tastes great. Any suggestions?

Here's my failure, anyway...

The ingredients:

The muffins cooling, looking super-dry and unappetizing, with a few oats sprinkled on top:

They don't look so bad in this picture, but that's just because you can't see the salt lurking inside:

Raisin Bran Muffins

2 cups bran
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

1. Prehat oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Mix all of the ingredients together.
3. Pour batter into muffin pan, filling each liner about two-thirds full.
4. Bake for 23 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool.

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