Thursday, March 25, 2010

World's Easiest Bread: Herb "Rolls"

As those who check my blog or my newspaper column might have noticed, I don't do much baking.

But there was a simple type of roll, really more of a biscuit, that I've been thinking about for some time. I first heard about it years ago. It's from Southern country cooking, possibly from high school home economics classes in the old days.

The original was called "mayonnaise biscuits" if dropped onto a baking sheet or "mayonnaise rolls" if made in a cupcake pan. It required only three ingredients and almost no technique.

Sometimes the name "Smith House" is associated with these quick breads, but articles about the famous Smith House in Dalonega, Georgia do not show anything quite like them.

The original ingredients were self-rising flour, mayonnaise (for the egg and oil) and milk.

Here's my variant, in which I put some herbs, spices, or cheese. I use self-rising White Lily flour, which makes incredibly light baked goods.

Real mayonnaise is required, not a low- or non-fat variety, since the shortening -- though there's not much of it -- in the recipe is from the mayonnaise.

Easy Herb Rolls

2 1/4 cups White Lily self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry dill weed, savory, or oregano, or 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh herb
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional
2 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, optional
1/4 cup mayonnaise ("real" type)
1 cup milk

Set oven for 400 degrees. Use spray oil a 12-cup muffin/cupcake pan.

Mix flour and seasonings are used in bowl. With fork, lightly mix in mayonnaise.

Stir in milk just until moistened. Mixture will be somewhat lumpy.

Drop by spoonfulls into prepared pan.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan onto cooling rack, so edges dry.

Serve warm.

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