I made the dreadful mistake last week of cleaning out the freezer and seeing exactly what I had stored in there. I was kind of horrified to see I had over 20 packages of chicken and 16 packages of steak. I am having a hard time adjusting to cooking for just the two of us and seem to still be buying like I had a teenage boy living and eating here. At the same time while I have not altered my buying habits, I evidently have been in some kind of freezing frenzy. I made the decision with the exception of fresh produce and milk I am not going to the store until the freezer contents are reduced by a third.
This creates a small problem with breads. We don't have bread with every meal but sometimes if we are having a chicken breast and a salad a roll really does change the meal. It sort of rounds it out into a more complete dinner. I was looking for something with few ingredients that could be whipped up in a flash with things I already have on hand when I stumbled on this recipe in one of my grandmothers old cookbooks.
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups flour
Put the oil, egg, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl and beat well with a fork. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until the dough is moist but not smooth. I counted as I stirred and it took me about 35 strokes to get everything uniformly moist. Spoon the batter into oiled muffin tins ( I used paper muffin cups because I didn't feel like taking the time to oil the pan. Do not do this, go ahead and either spray with pam or oil the tins. It tends to stick to the paper.) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove for the pan and enjoy.
That is the recipe as written but I did make a couple of changes. Since we were using this as a bread with the meal I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup and omitted the vanilla entirely. I also used whole wheat pastry flour instead of white all purpose flour. The result was a light and fluffy though slightly dry muffin that became fabulous when eaten hot with butter on it. It was not very sweet at all. If you wanted a sweet muffin I would increase the sugar to 1/2 cup and add the vanilla.
This is probably something I will play with adding different ingredients to see how it hold up to them. I am thinking it might work with some thyme, savory and parsley for a herbed muffin and some brown sugar and cinnamon for a sweeter version.
I will be sure to let you know the results of the kitchen chemistry as I do muffin trial and error. With all the food reserves I have it looks like I am going to have a multitude of opportunities for experimentation.