Category Archives: Breads

Butter Muffins – 3 Ingredients!

These Butter Muffins are incredibly easy to make, have only three ingredients, and really taste like biscuits.  I like that I can get the biscuit taste with the consistency of a muffin and the bonus of no rolling pin required!  They’re great with butter and a little honey or jelly.  Next time you want an easy mess-free breakfast biscuit, try these!

Difficulty:  Easy… really, really easy

Source:  Southern Living from November 2000

8 ounces sour cream

1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter

2 cups self-rising flour

Yes, that’s it – only 3 ingredients!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 convection).

Butter Muffins ingredients

Melt butter.

Butter Muffins ingredients measured

Stir all three ingredients until just blended.  It’s that simple!

Butter Muffins Step 1

Butter Muffins Step 2

Lightly spray muffin tin with cooking spray.  Spoon batter into muffin tins.

Butter Muffin batter in pan

I had enough leftover batter for 2-3 muffins after filling my 12-muffin tin and baked the leftover batter in greased ramekins.

Butter Muffins extra batter

The original recipe notes that it makes 36 mini muffins.  Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.






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Sugar Topped Muffins

These Sugar Topped Muffins are fluffy and moist with a simple flavor that complements any meal.  And they’re very easy and quick to make… when I was in high school I used to make them while my mom made the rest of the meal.  Also, I’ve included an alternate recipe at the bottom in case you don’t have buttermilk on hand.

Difficulty:  Easy

Source:  my mom, of  course

1 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling on top)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 convection).

I forgot to include the egg in the ingredient pic!

Mix together dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

Sugar Topped Muffins dry ingredients 1

Make a hollow in the center.

Sugar Topped Muffins dry ingredients

Combine egg, milk, and oil.

Sugar Topped Muffins wet ingredients

Sugar Topped muffins wet ingredients mixed

Add all at once to hollow in dry ingredients.

Sugar Topped Muffins all ingredients

Stir with spoon just enough to moisten dry ingredients.  The batter should remain lumpy.

Sugar Topped Muffins batter

Line muffin tin with paper liners and fill two-thirds full.  This recipe should make 12 muffins in a standard size muffin pan.  As an aside, I really like light colored pans for baking.  The dark pans are easier to find in stores but seem to burn things faster.  And this one has the nice handles on the ends so you don’t mash a muffin with your hot pad when taking them out of the oven.

Sprinkle sugar on the batter in each muffin tin.

Sugar Topped Muffins in pan 1


Sugar Topped Muffins in pan 2

Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops of the muffins start to turn a tiny bit brown.

Sugar Topped Muffins 1



Variation:  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar instead of plain sugar.

The Story:  These muffins are in the cookbook my mom made with her friend Mary Elizabeth.  There are lots of items with two different recipes in this book – our family recipe and Mary Elizabeth’s family recipe (i.e. Mother’s Rolls and Mammaw’s Rolls).  There are a few items with two recipes from my mom, and Sugar Topped Muffins is one of these.  This recipe is actually for Sugar Topped Muffins II, and it’s my favorite.  The other (Sugar Topped Muffins I) is good as well but is a little more trouble and a little higher in fat.  However, (and by the way, I cannot write “however,” without thinking of that teacher who always verbalized the comma – “However comma, we should consider….”) the Sugar Topped Muffins I recipe is handy if you don’t have buttermilk.  It does involve some cutting of shortening, though.  The recipe is below.

2 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup milk

Stir together dry ingredients.  Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives until crumbs are the size of small peas.  Make a hollow in the center.  Combine egg and milk, and add them to dry ingredients.  Stir until just mixed but still lumpy.

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill 2/3 full with batter.  Sprinkle tops of muffins with sugar or sugar and cinnamon.  Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until done.

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Poppy Seed Bread

Poppy Seed Bread makes a great Christmas or hostess gift.  It’s dense, moist, and very sweet.  The only complaint I’ve ever heard about this recipe is that the name is misleading – it’s better described as Poppy Seed Cake!  It’s great served warm or buttered and toasted. 

Difficulty:  Easy (This is a batter bread, so it’s as simple as making pancake batter.)


3 cups flour

2 1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/8 cups oil

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup orange juice

3/4 cup sugar


Batter:  Mix all ingredients from flour through the first listing of extracts and flavorings.  Just stir with a big spoon or whisk, and allow some lumps to remain.

The purpose of this pic is to show you this super whisk. It has a whisk inside a whisk and a ball inside that for extra whisking power. If you ever run across one, get one for every cook in your family.
Not a great pic, but it’s really that easy – dump ingredients in bowl and stir

Pour into two greased loaf pans or three smaller foil pans.  These are 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.5″.


Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  If you’re using smaller loaf pans, check to see if the bread is done after 35 minutes.  The loaves are done when a fork or toothpick comes out clean when poked into the top.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Poke holes in bread with a toothpick, pour on glaze (recipe below), and let sit awhile.  Remove from pans and slice to serve.

Glaze:  As soon as you put the loaves into the oven to bake, stir the second set of flavorings together with the orange juice and 3/4 cup sugar.  Let rest until time to pour it over the loaves after baking.

DSC01422      DSC01428

  Poppy Seed Bread makes a great gift – I give it out as Christmas gifts every year.



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Grandmother Sarah’s Rolls

These rolls are fluffy and buttery and versatile – they taste great without toppings, with sweet toppings like honey or jelly, or as a little sandwiches.  They are also great as leftovers – cold, reheated, toasted with a little butter, etc.  I could go on and on, but these are always crowd pleasers.

Source:  family recipe that shows up at just about every family gathering

Difficulty:  Medium (no need to be afraid of dealing with yeast) 

Time Required:  you need a few hours one evening and a few hours the next day (this includes rising times)

Quantity:  one 13”x17 ¾” pan full of rolls, plus a few extra rolls

½ cup sugar

½ cup shortening

1 Tablespoon salt

2 cups whole milk, scalded

2 packages dry yeast (or 4 ½ teaspoons yeast)

½ cup warm water

2 cups all purpose flour + more as needed (buy a small (2 lb) bag of flour and don’t use quite all of it)

Melted butter

Scald milk in heavy saucepan or in microwave until tiny bubbles form around rim of milk in pan.  Pour over shortening, sugar and salt in mixing bowl.  Stir until dissolved.  Let rest until warm to touch.

Meanwhile, stir the dry yeast into warm water (warmer than body temperature, but not unpleasantly hot) in a medium sized bowl.  Add a sprinkle of sugar to feed the yeast.  It will begin to bubble and grow showing you that it is alive.

When milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm, stir in yeast mixture.  With mixer running on low speed or stirring by hand, add about two cups flour.  When this is blended add more flour gradually.  When you have added enough flour the dough will pull away from the spoon.  Test by scooping up dough and turning spoon or rubber spatula upside down over your bowl.  If the dough drops off and leaves your spatula or spoon almost clean, then you have added enough flour.

Allow dough to rise covered with waxed paper or saran wrap until doubled in bulk.   Stir down and store, covered tightly, in refrigerator until ready to roll out (up to 24 hours.)

When ready to roll out, stir dough down and spoon some out onto well floured surface.  Pat with flour and gently roll out to about ¼ inch thickness.  Cut with biscuit cutter, dip both sides in melted butter, and place on rimmed cookie sheet, folding over to make pocketbook shape.  Try to get as many rolls out of each time you roll it out as possible, since the quality of the rolls will decrease with every roll-out as more flour gets pressed into the dough.  I use a ½ size jelly roll pan (13×17¾ inches).  Nestle rolls fairly close together.  Cover with waxed paper and a dishtowel on top of the waxed paper.  I like to use my lidded quarter or half sheet pans for this.  Let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled.  To determine if they’re risen enough, poke on with your finger.  If after a few minutes the dent is still there, the rolls are ready to be baked.

Bake at 425 degrees (400 convection) for about 13-15 minutes, or until browned on top and bottom.


Freezing:  These rolls freeze well after they are baked.  After they are completely cooled, wrap them in foil and seal the edges tightly.  They can be made and frozen for several weeks before you need them.  Thaw on the counter (still wrapped tightly in foil so that the condensation does not get on the rolls).  Then reheat for 5-10 minutes at 425 degrees (400 convection), opening the foil a little for the last few minutes.

The Story:  I have so many memories tied to these rolls, since we have them at every family gathering.  No one will let my aunt forget the Thanksgiving when she chose to let the rolls rise outside… and of course, they never rose in the cool air.  And I won’t let my mom forget the time she forgot the salt… that tablespoon is VERY important.  My uncle makes them with a larger biscuit cutter than the rest of us and calls his version “Less Embarrassing Rolls,” since you don’t have to eat quite as many.

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