Carolina Rice Muffins

Sarah Rutledge includes a number of recipes for rice bread in The Carolina Housewife of 1847, as does the Georgian Annabella Hill in Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book a few years later. And when the grain was king all along the Lowcountry during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, there was no better way to use up leftover rice than in all types of loaf breads, muffins, fritters, and even biscuits. Today’s authority on the cooking in this area, Damon Lee Fowler, notes, however, that cheap, plentiful rice was more than just an economical filler in expensive white breads; it also contributed a rich moistness to the crumbs and could even transform a quick breakfast bread into a starchy side dish for other meals. Unlike so many other batter breads, alas, these muffins do not freeze well and always need to be made from scratch.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cooked, cooled, long-grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole or 2 percent milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with butter and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, rice, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg and mix till well blended. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, and egg, add to the dry mixture, and stir just till the dry mixture is moistened but still slightly lumpy. Spoon equal amounts of the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup about two-thirds full, and bake till golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and serve hot or at room temperature.

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