Let's just take the idea of a very brown, very flavorless, sawdust-dry bran muffin and toss it right out the window. Because, really, in this day and age, who has time for eating such insipidity? I, for one, want the moments I spend nourishing my body to be worth it. No regrets. Nothing mournful or limp in its expression, nothing bland or mediocre in its intention. Robust and hearty, delicate and nuanced, simple and extaordinary; these ideals may seem lofty for mere food on an ordinary Wednesday, but establishing a goal costs you nothing. Let's just go with it.
I've always imagined that I would never choose a bran muffin from among the delicacies within the case at a baker's shop. I mean, bran muffin? Who would waste a dining experience on a bran muffin when there are the likes of sticky buns, tarts, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, coffee cake, and Danishes to choose from? But, then, in my mind, I imagine knowing what I know about these particular bran muffins, and it changes everything. Without a doubt, in minutes I'd be sitting at a small corner table with a steaming cup of chai in one hand, and this hot bran muffin in the other, butter trickling down its side from the place where it has puddled under the lopped-off top.
Wholesome and substantial, yet tender, slightly sweet, and deeply moist, these muffins are what bran muffins should be. You might find yourself wanting to bake them every single day. The best news is, you can(!) in the time it takes you to preheat your oven and scoop batter into a muffin tin, because this muffin mixture, kept in a lidded glass or ceramic container, will keep in the refrigerator for up to six weeks. Now, that's a blessed thing.
Refrigerator Bran Muffins
3 cups All-Bran cereal (the 'stick' kind, not flakes or buds)
2 cups boiling water
1 cup butter, melted in boiling water
4 eggs, beaten
1 quart buttermilk
1 1/4 cups honey
5 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups flour
3 cups All-Bran
Blend first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients and add to buttermilk mixture, stir until combined. Add remaining 3 cups All-Bran (I just dump in what's left in the box), stir. Store in refrigerator up to 6 weeks in glass or ceramic container. Do not stir down at each using. Bake in greased muffin tins at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out clean, and not a second more.