Banana Bran and Toasted Walnut Muffins

Source: The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread, by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree
adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
makes more than 12 large muffins

2 1/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups wheat bran (I used oat bran!)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 5)
2 sticks (1 cup) + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/3 cups walnut pieces, toasted (or not!)
2 ripe bananas, sliced into 12 chunks

Preheat to 350° F.

In the large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, bran, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the mashed banana and the softened butter until mixed. It may look lumpy, but that’s fine. Add the eggs and brown sugar and mix until thoroughly combined.

Gently fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture, just until combined. Don’t overmix. Then fold in the toasted walnut pieces. *I put it all in the stand mixer and mixed it on the lowest setting until it was combined. Take care not to overwork the batter.

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups. Push one banana chunk into the batter and cover the banana. The batter will be mounded over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 23 to 25 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the muffin comes out clean. The muffin tops should be medium brown.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Serve within 8 hours for best texture, and wrap the remainder in plastic to keep fresh.