The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Bran cereal in bran muffins

LittleGirlBlue's picture

Bran cereal in bran muffins

I've done some googling and it seems most of the recipes I'm finding use bran cereals instead of simply using bran.  Does anyone know why?

I'm hoping to make some bran muffins similar to what my mother used to make.  Unfortunately I don't remember many details.  They were moist and delicious, and I know she blended some of the raisins (probably after soaking in water I'd guess) so that the sweetness and flavor permeated the entire muffin.  I'm sure she used actual wheat bran rather than a bran cereal, and I would guess she used whole wheat flour.  I'm also sure that any sweeteners other than the blended raisins would have been something like honey or molasses, and not granulated or other highly refined sugar.  Other than that, I don't really have anything to go on.

If anyone has a recipe to share, or just some pointers, I'd be happy to hear it.  Bonus points if the recipe can use sourdough discard, but that's not necessary.

Sabina's picture

I normally use the recipe that comes on the back of the wheat bran package:

I know it is not like you describe, since it doesn't have soaked or blended raisins, whole wheat, or honey or molasses, but it does use bran instead of cereal, and it is quite good. You could probably make some adjustments to make it more to your taste.

GaryBishop's picture

I love the idea of blending some of the raisins! I've got to try that. 

Here is a recipe that is similar to what you describe. In the notes below the recipe you'll see experiments with sourdough discard.

Adapted from the recipe on Bob's Red Mill Wheat Bran.

Preheat oven to 375 on convection or 400 conventional.

  • 60g - 1 cup wheat or oat bran
  • 140g - 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 75g - 1/2 cup raisins or dates
  • 75g - 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 50g - 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 5g - 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5g - 1 tsp baking soda
  • 168g - 3/4 cup milk
  • 100g - 1/2 cup molasses
  • 100g - small single serving apple sauce
  • 28g 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 beaten egg

Stir together the dry ingredients. Stir together the wet ingredients. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake 16 minutes.


I tried replacing some of the flour and milk with sourdough starter discard. I didn't have apple sauce and I cut the molasses to 100g. Not quite sweet enough but a good direction.


I used 205g of sourdough starter discard to replace part of the flour and milk. I added 20g of Nido to the water to restore the milk. Good flavor, right amount of sweetness.


I used 112g of sourdough starter discard and let it feed on the bran overnight. Good flavor. Best yet. The bran clumped badly. I should add water next time.


I tried yeast-raising them by leaving out the baking soda and powder and adding 1 tsp of yeast. Too acidic. I like the sourdough flavor I get from using the discard but raising them with it goes too far.


Made according to the spreadsheet at the top and they are great. Just the right level of sweetness.

mariana's picture


I am so happy to see that Blob is back to life and is so powerful. Your bread looks really good!

As to why bran cereal and not bran, it's convenience. Many people have bran cereal at home, just like you do, but very few bake with bran and have a stash of it. Professional bakers of course bake bran muffins either with bran or with special bagged mixes of everything, including bran, just add water, eggs, mix and bake, similar to packaged cake mixes sold in grocery stores. 

Here's a recipe for bran muffins from Advanced Bread and Pastry book published by the instructors from San-Francisco Baking Institute. I bake these muffins and they are really good. This formula has raisins, you can blend them if you wish, or leave them embedded which is a bit more traditional or common. It uses buttermilk for acidity, you can experiment with using Blob's discards and water instead. The goal is to achieve the same pH level, that of buttermilk. 


makes 18 muffins. 

240g bread flour (can be whole wheat bread flour or whole wheat all-purpose flour, i.e. strong, not whole wheat pastry flour)

55 g wheat germ

35 g wheat bran

11g baking soda

6g baking powder

1g salt

140g brown sugar

50g molasses

25 g honey

85g oil (canola, or other mild tasting oil)

100g eggs (2 large eggs)

295g buttermilk

90 g currants or raisins. 

3g cinnamon

3g vanilla extract

Combine the dry ingredients, except germ, bran and raisins, and reserve. Combine the wet ingredients, and add the dry ingredients to them.

Mix to 75% incorporation (almost no dry specks are visible), fold in the wheat germ, bran, and currants and mix to incorporation (no dry specks of flour are visible). 

Deposit 100g of batter into greased or papered muffin pans and garnish with a dusting of bran. 

Bake at 375F (190C) in a convection oven for 15-17 min or until done. 


75% incorporation

100% incorporation

Hot muffins

Warm muffins

Note about wheat germ.

This recipe uses white bread flour, bran and wheat germ as well, and wheat germ is very high in bran content as you can see. So if you do not wish to use wheat germ, you can increase the bran portion of the recipe. But I would recommend to try the recipe first as is. It's delicious. 

LittleGirlBlue's picture

Thank you everyone for the recipes and suggestions.  I definitely have some experimenting to do!

Once I have some results to share, I'll probably start a new thread in the sourdough subforum.  That's if I post at all.  I tend to be more of a lurker than a poster.

Thanks again!

GaryBishop's picture

Please post so we all can learn.