Thursday, March 31, 2022

Mayonnaise Muffins (Three-Ingredient Muffins)

Who knew? A simple muffin transformed into a bagel. Yes, you can do it, too!
Don't be a bagel snob.

I've seen versions of this recipe floating the Internet for awhile now, so I thought it time to give it a try. I'm always on the prowl for an easy "bread" that is table-presentable even for company.

This did not disappoint. It's a keeper. But I do suggest you give it a trial run, first.

Is it celebatory fireworks worthy? Not really. But it is simple. It's good. And it fills a need.

This most common of these recipes goes by the title "Three-Ingredient Muffins." But I have also seen people roll them like a "biscuit"! (I don't know why, since that defeats the ease of the recipe and easy clean up.)

After reading many reviews with so many changes, I settled on the one below. I baked mine in a "mini" muffin tin that fit into my counter-top oven at a lower temperature but for around the same time if they had been regularly sized. I also added a bit of sugar. And I took one reviewer's advice and added just a few pinches of yeast.*  It's important to let these sit for about 15 minutes before baking, a good rule for any muffin to give them a head start to rise.**

For half, I sprinkled with "everything bagel" toppings. I enjoyed them very much split open, smeared with a bit of cream cheese and topped with smoked salmon. For a "dinner" roll, the savory route of planting seeds in a pillowy and fertile loam of dough is the the way to go. One could just as easily use caraway or sesame or any favored dried herb, such as dill to match the occasion and taste of the main dish. Even seasoned pepper--such as my favorite, Aleppo.

(Please note: not all bagel seed toppings are the same. I prefer brands that include some type of salt. If yours does not, I suggest you add to it a bit of sea salt, pink salt or Kosher salt.) 

Because I live in the South, I am spoiled and used White Lily self-rising flour. If you do, too, adjust amounts as recommended on package. If you do not have self rising flour on hand, simply add, for each cup of all-purpose flour: 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder and ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt.

If you want these for a breakfast or morning muffins, measure dry ingredients into a bowl the night before. In the morning, sleepy-eyed and groggy, it's easy to add wet ingredients and pop into the oven while prepping your coffee or breakfast. I even grease the tins and measure the milk in a mug the night before. Really, what could be easier?

Don't be put off the mayo. It contains oil and egg. That's it. If you have never had a mayonnaise cake, you don't know what you are missing! Very moist and tender.

For the future, it would be interesting to add a cinnamon streusal in the center and/or top. Lots of variations one could use for these ... Add cheese, pieces of sausage/bacon. Some pieces of fresh fruit. It's a great and easy base for creative cookery. And it's cheaper than a loaf of good bread or a slice of cheap bread.

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1.5-1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons full-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • Bagel seed topping (optional)

Place dry ingredients into bowl. Mix. Add mayonnaise and incorporate. Add half of the milk. Stir. 

Continue to add milk until you get a thick, pancake-like batter.

Spoon into greased muffin tins. Allow to rest 10-15 minutes. Bake in a 375-400 degree oven 13-15 minutes.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool a few minutes. Tumble onto a rack to cool.

This little  puppy outdid everyone in the pan!
(Did it rise/raise/rose?)

Notes: The muffin tin I used is visually attractive. My mom had several. But the muffins picked up the "tinny" taste. 

*These really do have a nice texture. Sadly, the yeast added no taste.

**RISE ROSE RISEN are verbs. They simply discuss "action." Just think of Jesus. He has "risen." He "rose" He will "rise" again. In other words, a person or thing MOVES UP! Words like am, is are, was, were, being, been and has, had, will ... are clues or helping verbs that you want one of these words.

But "raise" must always have an attachment or "object" telling you what is actually "raised." They "raised" the rent. "Raise" your hand. The committee "raised" a number questions? That's it ... just two words ... raise and raised unlike RISE which has three conjugations but a ton of helping verbs.  

If you would like a week-long lesson on this, let me know!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Lunch Lady Hot Rolls~

I was raised a Baby-Boomer Catholic. 

That meant several things. First, I went to Catholic or private schools, not "public." My church and school was ST. JOSEPH in the small town of Dyer, Indiana. I loved that small town! It was once a beautiful church until pagans remodeled it. Very, very sad.

In the 1950s, there was a clear divide between Catholic and "public." For example, we were not allowed to walk in front of the "public" school. We had to cross the street! I'm serious!

Even though "public" school busses took us to school and back, we were not allowed to sit with any of the "public" school kids.

School lunches at private, Catholic schools were pure torture for any child.  There was no federal or state money or aide. No menus or recipes. They were just terrible. At best, food was donated. Lots of cans. I honestly do not remember anything FRESH or made from scratch, except peanut-butter cookies. It was cheap. It was garbage. 

For the most part, my siblings and I had "packed" lunches prepared by our mother. Back in the cafeteria, kids who had packed lunches ... were separated from kids who had "HOT" lunches. Note the dichotomy ... Hot/Cold ...

The worst was the Friday lunch. We were not allowed to eat meat on Friday's ... so the lunch was always the same ... ALWAYS! Putrid fish sticks (often cold), canned peas, a piece of cheap mostly-stale white bread and a pat of "butter" that was so dense it ripped the bread when you tried to spread it. The redeeming ingredient, hopefully, not always, was a peanut butter cookie.

Well, come Friday, my mom was done making lunches for me and my brother and sister. Instead, she gave us a quarter to buy our lunch, and sent us on our way ...

It was a death sentence. The worst lunch of the week.

Nuns served as guards next to every garbage can to make sure every child ate everything (even if we had a home-packed lunch.) There were "children in the world starving to death," they loved to remind us.

Well, from Grade One I learned early. Screw that piece of white crappy bread. I stuffed it in my pant pocket. Canned peas and horrible "fish" sticks? Drain carton of milk ... and stuff it into that. Out of sight--out of mind. The nuns smiled. And I was cleared to leave cafeteria prison to enter playground freedom ... regardless of starving children in the world.

I can't begin to tell you how often my mother yelled at me ... when she went to do laundry ... and stale bread fell out of my pant pocket. Looking back, it should have been a wake up call ... NO SCHOOL LUNCH ON FRIDAYS! Better yet ... contact school ... discuss school lunches ... 

I graduated to a classy catholic high school ... Great food! They figured it out ... Make good food ... and reap a profit!

Eventually, I became a public school teacher, in rural Indiana. Many of the lunch ladies were regular moms and moms who worked on farms. They were all good cooks! Sadly the Feds eventually barged in and put an end to home-cooking. It was a horrible period of bad food until everyone eventually figured it all out.

One of my favorite Lunch-Lady foods was yeast rolls, usually served with beef stew! In the mornings, the smell of rising rolls permeated hallways. I once asked the head cook for the recipe and she obliged, but it was the original recipe, 25 lbs of flour, etc. I wish now I had saved it. I have made an effort to contact people who may still have it, but to no avail ... and some have simply passed on.

Lunch-Lady Rolls have become a cult classic in the U.S. Below is a video of a former lunch lady, Miss Lori, from her You Tube channel, Whippoorwill Hollow, making yeast rolls. In other episodes, she also shares recipes for Lunch Lady Pizza and Lunch Lady-Peanut Butter Cookies. She's a great cook! Enjoy!