blueberry bran muffins

Makes 12.

Note: Joanne Chang uses Bob's Red Mill brand of wheat bran. She always uses crème fraîche, but sour cream could be substituted. From "Baking With Less Sugar," by Joanne Chang.

• 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

• 1 c. wheat bran

• 1 tsp. cinnamon

• 2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

• 2 eggs

• 1/3 c. sugar

• 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted and at room temperature

• 1/2 c. whole milk, room temperature

• 3/4 c. crème fraîche, room temperature (see Note)

• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

• 2 1/2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin tin, coat with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, wheat bran, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, butter, milk, crème fraîche and vanilla until well-combined. Pour the butter-sugar mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently, using a rubber spatula, just until the ingredients are combined. Gently fold in the blueberries until the fruit is distributed well. The batter may seem lumpy, but don't try to smooth it out.

Using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop a heaping 2/3 cup batter into each prepared cup of the muffin tin, filling the cups to the brim (almost overflowing) and making sure the cups are evenly filled. You might think you have too much batter, but you can fill these to overflowing and then you will get nice tops on your muffins. (If you prefer smaller muffins, spoon about 1/2 cup batter into each cup and decrease the baking time to 25 to 35 minutes. You will get up to 18 smaller muffins.)

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the muffins are entirely golden brown on top and they spring back lightly when you press them in the center. There's a lot of fruit in these muffins, so make sure you bake them enough so the insides of the muffins don't get soggy. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, and then remove them from the pan.

The muffins are best enjoyed on the same day you bake them, but they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days. If you keep them longer than 1 day, refresh them in a 300-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. The unbaked muffin batter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.