If you are someone who dismisses bran muffins as being too bland or dry, these muffins will surely change your mind. The use of buttermilk and oat bran instead of wheat bran creates a tender, springy texture, better than what you find in most coffee shops.
Nonstick canola oil spray
1 cup oat bran
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon into a measuring cup and level top)
2/3 cup whole wheat flour (spoon into a measuring cup and level top)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly spray twelve 2 1/4 x 1 1/2-inch nonstick muffin cups with oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk the bran, flours, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at high speed, beat the buttermilk, sugar, applesauce, egg, oil and vanilla until frothy, about two minutes. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Using a spoon, stir just until combined. Do not over-mix.
Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the tops spring back when pressed gently in the center, about 20 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the cups. Serve warm or cool completely on the rack.