everything muffin half

Everything muffins

1 March 2017

Eating well on a road trip is a whole lot easier than it was before iPhones. When my husband and I drove across the country from New York City to Silicon Valley in 2001, I mapped out our route every night using our fold-out paper maps and diligently cross-referenced them with my dog-eared copy of Roadfood, which was then the ultimate food guide for road warriors in America.

We ate well on that trip – pizza in Chicago, barbecue in Kansas City, fried chicken in Oklahoma City – but it took real planning. Now I can look up a good local restaurant on Yelp while we wait for the stoplight to turn green.

We took an overnight trip from Columbus, Ohio to Nashville this past Christmas to visit friends. We stopped in Kentucky midway for a quick lunch in Louisville, and after scanning a wealth of options (I need to go back!), we opted for an efficient and tasty visit to Wild Eggs, a Louisville brunch spot so popular that it is now quickly expanding into nearby cities and states.

We split a Southwestern-themed Benedict, with green chili corn cakes in place of English muffins, and a side of cheesy grits with sausage. The kitchen generously split the Benedict in two, giving us each full servings of potatoes and a golden muffin dotted with poppy seeds.

Poppy seeds made me think lemon, so when I broke the warm muffin open and took a bite I was surprised to find the deliciously moist muffin subversively savory instead. It was less like an everything bagel and more like a soft, savory scone. I’ve been wanting to make it since.

wild eggs louisville

My simple version is probably not as rich or complex as the Wild Eggs one. But at a restaurant I’m just eating one; at home I’m making (and maybe eating) a whole batch. And to me an easy recipe is the difference between actually cooking and saying to heck with it.

Funny that it only takes poppy seeds and a bit of dried onion to make a plain sweet muffin into an unexpectedly savory one. You could go whole hog and add sesame seeds and dried garlic too, but I like the subtlety of the Wild Eggs muffin, which unlike an everything bagel doesn’t stick with you all day.

everything muffin ingredients

This is so fast to make. Wet ingredients into dry. Muffins don’t like to be overmixed.

wet into dry

It’s a thick, sticky batter.

everything muffin batter

Pros say you can generate more lift in your muffins if you start them at 400 degrees F and finish at a lower temperature. I’ve accidentally over-browned too many baked goods in hot ovens, so I prefer a temperature that gives me a little more wiggle room, even if it means less-than-maximum height.

everything muffin tin

I try to take the muffins out of the oven as soon as they are done. It’s too easy with muffins to over-bake into a hard crust and dry center.

baked everything muffins

A little sweet, a little savory, with a pleasing crunch of poppy seeds. Something different for brunch, or a fun dinner roll alternative, or a quick portable breakfast.

everything muffins

It’s a rare muffin that appeals more to adults than kids.

everything muffin half

Which leaves more tender, savory goodness for us.

everything muffin inside

Everything Muffins
I love these not-too-sweet muffins, inspired by the everything muffin served at Wild Eggs in Louisville. Less like an everything bagel and more like a soft, savory scone, they are a subtly subversive delight for brunch or even dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (OR 3/4 teaspoon table salt OR 1 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt)
  • 1/3 cup neutral-tasting oil or melted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Use butter, oil or nonstick cooking spray to grease 9 cups of a muffin/cupcake pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds, onion and salt.
  3. In a small bowl or mixing cup, add oil, milk and egg, and use a fork mix until egg is well combined.
  4. Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don’t overmix). Use a spatula to make sure dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl get mixed in. Batter will be thick and sticky.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into the 9 greased muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake about 15 minutes, until muffins are slightly golden on top and spring back to the touch (or test with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean). Gently pop the muffins out of the pan with a table knife or the small end of a chopstick (bamboo is gentler on a nonstick pan). Serve immediately.

Notes

  • For a lighter, bouncier muffin texture, use 2/3 cup milk. This will give you a smooth-topped, more cupcake-like muffin instead of the textured top and denser crumb of this scone-ish one.
  • If you don’t have dried onion flakes, substitute 3 tablespoons of finely minced fresh onion.
  • I love buttermilk in baked goods, which gives a little boost in flavor and moistness. If you have buttermilk or plain yogurt on hand, try making these two substitutions: 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder plus 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (instead of 2 teaspoons baking powder) and 1/2 cup buttermilk, OR 1/4 cup plain yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup milk (instead of 1/3 cup regular milk).
  • Pros say you can eke out more lift in your muffins if you start them at 400 degrees F and finish at a lower temperature. I’ve accidentally over-browned too many baked goods in hot ovens, so I prefer a temperature that gives me a little more wiggle room.
  • The Wild Eggs muffin is very subtle compared to an everything bagel. For a more intense experience, you could add sesame seeds and dried garlic flakes in addition to the poppy and onion.

Here’s the link to a printable version

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Regina 3 March 2017 at 11:28 am

I’m always looking for a non-sweet muffin recipe. I just picked up a spice mix at Trader Joe’s called “Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend” It contains sesame seeds, sea salt, dried minced garlic, dried minced onions, black sesame seeds and poppy seeds. I’m going to try it in this recipe!

Reply

cg 3 March 2017 at 2:55 pm

hi regina – that sounds perfect! if the mix has salt, you’ll want to cut back a little on the salt in the recipe. good luck!

Reply

Regina 6 March 2017 at 7:25 pm

Made these tonight and your advice about the salt was wise. I did 3Tbsp of the spice mix and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Next time I think I’d omit the extra salt. And just for me personally I’d decrease the amount of sugar too. But these are great along side soup! It’s a keeper. Thank you!

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cg 8 March 2017 at 9:19 am

yay regina! thanks for sharing your version, glad it worked out. 🙂

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Amy 27 March 2017 at 7:27 am

Sounds delicious- and if you get inspired to re-create the rest of your dish I wouldn’t be disappointed to see those results too!

Reply

cg 17 April 2017 at 10:05 am

haha i know, it was great! but hollandaise is a little fussy for my preferred (idiot-proof!) kind of home cooking. i don’t like to invite disappointment. =P when i’m out i like to order stuff that i wouldn’t make at home. =)

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