Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease and flour the insides of three empty 15-ounce cans. In a medium heatproof mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over the raisins and baking soda. Set aside to cool. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Stir in the bran flake crumbs. Lightly beat together the egg and oil, and stir into the flour mixture. Stir in the cooled raisins and water. Divide the batter evenly among the 3 cans, filling about three-quarters of the way up. Bake on the lowest rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes and run a knife along the sides of the can to remove. If packing as gifts, just wrap in the can!
Recipe adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood (c) Clarkson Potter 2010