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Seriously Simple: An enticing new take on bran muffins — in a loaf!

Seriously Simple: An enticing new take on bran muffins — in a loaf!

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This reinterpreted breakfast favorite looks as enticing as a tea loaf.

Do you love bran muffins with your morning coffee or tea? It’s often my go-to breakfast on the go. So, it was a total delight to discover that bran muffin batter could also be baked in a loaf pan.

My friend had been telling me about this recipe she had culled from a number of other recipes. The first time I tried it, I added too much water and it was what I call a happy accident. The loaf was as moist as could be and lasted 4 days. It was as good as the first day it was baked. Who knew water could add that pleasant texture?

This reinterpreted breakfast favorite looks as enticing as a tea loaf. When I prepare this, I like to measure out everything in advance so you can put this together quickly. Make sure to toast the wheat bran so it adds an extra depth of flavor. I have tried it with dark or golden raisins, and both work well. The pureed raisins add a sweet addition so less brown sugar is needed. Always checking to see if my tasters agreed, I dropped slices off to a few of my muffin-loving pals. The resounding response was: “When can I have the recipe?”

The good news is that this is Seriously Simple to prepare. For me, it is now a weekly request by my husband. He likes it for breakfast, and an afternoon snack with coffee or tea and even for a sweet after dinner. Hope you enjoy this.

Bran Muffin Loaf

Makes (1) 9-by-5-inch loaf

2 cups wheat bran

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups dark raisins

2 cups water

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 egg white

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a nonstick 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Reserve.

2. Sprinkle the wheat bran onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan evenly and bake for about 7 minutes or until it begins to lightly brown and smells fragrant. Stir a couple of times to evenly brown it. Cool and reserve.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Reserve.

4. Meanwhile combine 1 cup raisins and 1/2 cup of water in a glass measuring cup and microwave for 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.

5. Place softened raisins in a food processor and puree. To the raisin mixture add the remaining 1 1/2 cups water, buttermilk, sugar, oil, egg and egg white and process until just blended.

6. Add reserved toasted wheat bran and flour mixture to the food processor and process until well blended. Add the 1/2 cup raisins and pulse just to combine, making sure not to break up the raisins.

7. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf.

(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)

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