Get ready.

I’m about to give you the recipe for the World’s Best Bran Muffin.

I know, right?  How can you resist a title like “World’s Best Bran Muffin”?  Okay, maybe you can resist it.  But I can’t.  Because, y’all?  I love me a bran muffin.

I’ve been trying for years to find the perfect bran muffin – one that was hearty and definitely bran-filled, but with a soft texture and tender crumb.  Too often, bran muffins are dry and heavy –  while they might be healthy, it doesn’t matter if no one wants to eat the darn thing.

My other main requirement was that the recipe couldn’t call for bran cereal, like those twiggy things in the cereal aisle or bran flakes or such.  I pretty much never have any kind of cereal in the house and I don’t want to go buy a box for the half a cup some recipe might call for.

I tried a lot of recipes.  Possibly hundreds ten.  And when I found this one from Joy of Baking (which is totally my go-to place for really well-tested recipes!), I knew my search was over.

One other thing: the batter has to chill for a few hours, or up to two days, so you have to plan ahead a bit when you make these.  The great part is, you can mix these up the night before you’ll want them, and the next morning just scoop and bake.  Fresh hot muffins on a weekday morning with minimal effort?  Yes, please!Better than a bowl of raisin bran!

World’s Best Bran Muffins

Makes 16 – 22

1 1/2 c. wheat bran
1/3 c. boiling water
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 T. molasses
1 t. vanilla
1 c. AP flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 t. cinnamon
zest of one orange
1/4 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
3/4 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. milk

Pour boiling water over the wheat bran and stir together; set aside.  With mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.  Add vanilla and molasses and beat in.  Add the wheat bran and beat until combined.

In separate bowl, whisk together flours, oats, cinnamon, zest, salt, baking powder and soda.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk and milk.

To the batter, add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture in two additions – you’ll begin and end with the flour mixture.  Cover batter and chill in fridge for several hours up to two days.

To bake: preheat oven to 375.  Line or spray muffin tins and fill about 3/4 full.  Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Let rest in pan for about 5 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool.