Sourdough Discard Bran Muffins

Bran muffins have always been one of my favorite muffins. The sweet bran flavor really shines through in these sourdough discard bran muffins. Filled with whole grains and an option to use freshly milled whole wheat flour, this recipe packs a punch for a healthy, wholesome and delicious breakfast muffin. I’ve been making them for years and finally decided to add some sourdough discard to them. And I have to say, they taste even better than the non-discard recipe. Seriously so good!

Important Ingredients in Sourdough Discard Bran Muffins

  • Sourdough Discard: You can use fresh, bubbly sourdough starter or sourdough discard in this recipe. If you don’t mind a more pronounced sourdough flavor, use refrigerated discard up to a week or two old.  I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard.
  • Bran Flake and Bran Buds Cereal: The bran flavor comes from bran flake cereal and bran buds cereal. Pour boiling water over the cereal to soften the bran. This adds a little bit of sweetness and the deep flavor of bran that is so delicious in muffins. Make sure to use both bran buds and flakes for the best combination of flavor.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk makes these muffins light and tender. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can combine 1 cup sour cream/Greek yogurt with 1 cup milk. Mix together to form a thicker liquid and substitute for the weight of buttermilk in the recipe. You may have a little bit leftover.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar gives these muffins a sweet flavor. If you prefer a less sweet muffin, you can reduce the sugar by 50 grams.
  • Flour: I love using freshly milled SOFT whole wheat flour in this recipe, but all-purpose flour also works great here. Just make sure your flour has a protein content of 11.5% or less.
  • Eggs: Eggs bring richness and a good texture, and they help the muffins rise.
  • Unsalted Butter: I always use unsalted butter so I can control the salt content in my muffins. If you use salted butter instead, decrease the salt a little in the recipe.

Bran Flakes and Bran Buds in Bran Muffins

These sourdough discard bran muffins have a unique way of getting the bran into the muffin. Take some favorite breakfast cereal, a combination of bran flakes and bran buds work best in this recipe (don’t leave out the bran buds!), and pour boiling water over the top of them. This breaks down the cereal and makes it easy to combine into the muffin batter. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often before adding in the rest of the liquid ingredients. I know this step can seem a little bit odd, but trust me, this process makes delicious muffins!

Mixing Sourdough Discard Bran Muffins

Add the buttermilk, sourdough discard and sugar to the bran mixture. Mix together with a whisk until small lumps of bran remain with the other ingredients well-incorporated and smooth. Add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix together until all the liquid ingredients are combined.

Add the Dry Ingredients: To a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Pour them on top of the liquid ingredients and gently mix until just combined. One of the keys to a tender muffin is not over-mixing the batter. We want to keep gluten from forming as much as possible, so mix gently.

Want all the health benefits of sourdough in this recipe? Let the batter long ferment:

Follow the recipe and mix together all the ingredients. Cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge overnight or up to a couple of days. The sourdough discard will ferment the batter giving it a little more sour flavor AND all the health benefits of sourdough.

Baking Sourdough Discard Bran Muffins

Pre-heat the oven to 375℉ and prepare two muffin tins. I spray my muffin tins with cooking spray, but you can also use parchment paper for liners or muffin liners. Scoop about 1/4 cup of muffin batter into each muffin well, filling them about 3/4 of the way full. Repeat with all the batter until you have 22-24 muffins. Bake at 375℉ for 15-18 minutes until muffins have risen and spring back just a little when pressed. Let muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftover sourdough discard bran muffins?

Let the bran muffins cool completely. Then stick in a ziplock bag or airtight container and freeze. When you’re ready to eat one, pull them out of the freezer and thaw or warm up if you want to eat right away. My kids love putting one in their lunch. I wrap it and stick it in the lunch box frozen. It thaws throughout the morning and is perfect at lunchtime.

Can I use freshly milled flour in this recipe?

Yes! These sourdough discard bran muffins taste delicious with freshly milled whole wheat flour. I buy these wheat berries and mill them for muffins (not bread!). You can also substitute a soft wheat in place of the all-purpose flour in the recipe.

Do I have to use cereal in this recipe? Can I use something else?

I have been experimenting with using wheat germ, but don’t have a recipe to share for those yet. The combination of bran flakes and bran buds really make this recipe delicious. When I have a different version to share, I’ll be sure to update this recipe with a link.

I notice you don’t use muffin liners. Why? What do you use instead?

I very rarely use muffin liners. These USA muffin pans are non-stick and do a great job with my muffins. Lightly spray the muffin tins with a non-stick olive oil spray, fill the tins and bake. Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the tin before trying to get them out. If they are stuck, I’ll run a knife gently around the tin or gently wiggle them loose. It’s just my personal preference, but muffin liners work too if you want to use them!

Sourdough Discard Bran Muffins

Amy
The very best bran muffins made with sourdough discard are sweet and filled with delicious bran flavor. Ferment them longer or bake them right away, these healthy muffins are incredible no matter which you choose.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 24 muffins

Ingredients
  

  • 130 grams bran flakes about 2 cups
  • 90 grams bran buds about 1 cup
  • 240 grams boiling water about 1 cup
  • 430 grams buttermilk about 2 cups
  • 120 grams sourdough discard 100% hydration
  • 160 grams granulated sugar about 3/4 cup
  • 113 grams unsalted butter melted, 1/2 cup
  • 2 large eggs about 100 grams
  • 4 grams vanilla extract about 1 teaspoon
  • 300 grams all-purpose flour about 2 cups, see recipe notes
  • 12 grams baking soda about 2 teaspoons
  • 6 grams salt about 1 teaspoon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Prepare 2 muffin tins by spraying with cooking spray and set aside.
  • To a large bowl, add the bran flakes and bran buds. Pour boiling water over the bran cereal and mix together with a spoon to combine. Set aside and stir every few minutes for about 10 minutes until the mixture cools a little.
  • Add buttermilk, sourdough discard and granulated sugar on top of the cereal mixture. Whisk together, breaking up the chunks of bran cereal until fairly smooth. There will still be a few lumps of bran and that’s okay. Add in the melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk together.
  • To a small bowl fluff together the flour, baking soda and salt. Pour the flour mixture on top of the liquid muffin batter. Mix together until just combined.
  • Scoop muffin batter into tins, leaving them about 3/4 of the way full. You should have enough muffin batter to make about 22-24 muffins.
  • Bake muffins at 375℉ for 16-18 minutes until baked all the way through. Let cool completely and enjoy!

Notes

Long Fermentation Option: If you want to long-ferment these sourdough discard bran muffins, mix together all the ingredients. Cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge overnight or up to a few days. The sourdough discard will ferment the batter, giving you all the sourdough health benefits.
Buttermilk: Buttermilk makes these muffins light and tender. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can combine 1 cup sour cream/Greek yogurt with 1 cup milk. Mix together to form a thicker liquid and substitute for the weight of buttermilk in the recipe. You may have a little bit leftover.
Flour: You can substitute freshly milled whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour in this recipe. For more tender muffins use a soft whole wheat flour (white wheat is my favorite) or a mixture of a hard whole wheat and soft whole wheat flour would also work.
Sourdough Discard: You can use fresh, bubbly sourdough starter or sourdough discard in this recipe. If you don’t mind a more pronounced sourdough flavor, use refrigerated discard up to a week or two old.  I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard.
Keyword bran muffins with sourdough, homemade sourdough bran muffins, recipe for sourdough discard bran muffins, sourdough bran muffin recipe, sourdough bran muffins, sourdough discard bran muffins
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6 Comments

  1. What about using wheat bran in this recipe instead of both cereals? I’m excited to try the fresh milled flour option, but just recently acquired a bunch of wheat bran at a bargain price.

    1. I haven’t tried that yet but I think it could work. I’m not sure on quantities for how to substitute but wheat bran does absorb a lot of liquid, so you may need to increase the liquid if you go that route.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been searching and trying sourdough muffin recipes for a while now. This is hands down the best! I bake a batch weekly; we eat every morning with coffee! Simply delicious!