Sunday Breakfast: old fashioned bran banana muffins
My dad specialized in American antiques and Americana; our home was filled with a rotating assemblage of antiques and various items: carnival glass, anniversary clocks, as many as seven sideboards and dressers at times lined our tract house hallway.
At an auction, you never quite know what you’re getting in any particular box. You think you know, of course, you think whatever it is is going to be worth much more than you paid for it, that you’ll actually find a buyer for whatever it is you picked up.
If it had worked out that way, where you find a treasure and make a fortune reselling it, where my dad scored a number of these items, I wouldn’t have had to pay my own way through college; for awhile I even worked for my dad and learned how to buy and sell furniture and refinish it.
Instead, over the years I have scored a hodgepodge of oddball items.
One of my most used is a copy of the Joy of Cooking from 1946. It’s lost its blue hardback cover, and some of the contents are dated, but it connects me with bakers of the past–the ones who made their own baking powder, who, coming out of the Great Depression and World War II had learned not to waste what’s edible.
Anything I can imagine I want to make I can find in this cookbook–either the recipe or a variation or an approximation.
I write this as I smell one of my most beloved recipes cooking in the oven: bran muffins made with bananas and molasses.
When I am done writing, they will be done cooking. So quick, let me share the recipe and maybe even some pictures using my new iPhone if I can figure it out!
According to Joy of Cooking, served with cheese, these bran muffins “are excllent picnic sandwiches”! You will likely need to make a special trip to the store to find the ingredients. Using bananas is my variation.
Combine and stir well:
- 2 cups graham flour (like in the crackers!)
1 1/2 cups bran (not bran cereal)
2 tablespoons sugar (not necessary if you use ripe bananas; or add honey to wet ingredients)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon soda
Combine and beat wet ingredients:
- 1 beaten egg
1-3 very ripe bananas
2 cups sour milk (if you don’t have any, add 1T lemon or orange juice until it curdles)
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons melted butter
Add 1-2 cups dried fruit like raisins or cranberries and toasted nuts like pecans and walnuts.
Scoop into 20-24 prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
And yes ours are out of the oven and cooling! Time for breakfast!
These muffins last well in the refrigerator. Reheat in a paper bag so they don’t get dried out; microwave makes all breads tough but hey, it’s easy, just heat for 10 seconds. Serve with cream cheese, sour cream, lemon curd, butter, molasses or just plain.