Tuesday, April 17, 2012

bran muffins + sunday scenes

it's spring. and it's nice.
i've been trying to admire all these pretty things around me. like magenta blurs and green beach houses.

i've been embracing spring's finicky weather, with fireplaces when it's cold and open doors when it's hot.

and i've been loving all up on sunday, bigtime.

if there was any day built for taking it easy, for loving the simple things, it's sunday.
stay in pajamas longer, sit on the floor. wear love socks.

sundays are for homely romance, and walks with my two favorite boys.

sundays are for trying not to think of all the crap you need to do.

for drinking bouzy coffee out of giant mugs.

how about appreciating people you don't know. whoever's gate this is here, sir or ma'am, i appreciate you. i took a picture of your gate and now it is on my blog. we're connected.

sundays are definitely about food too... there is certainly no better day to bake muffins. shall i smell up the house with some sweet muffin smells?

yes. always yes.

bran muffins.

bran muffins are homely and perfect like a sunday. i'm not talking about the god awful dry health-food bran muffins. those make me angry.

i'm talking about these ones, these ones that make me grin. and stuff my cheeks like a squirrel.

they are light and a little chewy, punched up with some orange, and softened with buttermilk.
they are homely and perfectly sweet like a sunday.

the leftovers were breakfast this morning, as i longed for more frangelico and another weekend.

Bran Muffins
adapted from Nancy Silverton via David Leibovitz

2 cups wheat bran
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup prunes, pitted
1 cup + 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
zest of half an orange
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour ( i used graham flour )
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350. grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with papers. 
spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, stirring a couple times so it cooks evenly. let cool. 
while the bran is toasting, heat the dates and prunes with 1/2 cup water. simmer for 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. puree the softened dates and prunes in a food processor until smooth. 
in a large bowl, mix together the toasted bran, buttermilk, 1 cup water. then mix in the fruit puree, orange zest, and brown sugar. 
stir in the oil, egg, and egg white. 
mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the wet ingredients. stir until the ingredients are just combined. spoon the batter into the muffin tins, mounding the tops. bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the muffins feel set in the center. 

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