While this posting will mostly be about the condiment, for anyone not familiar with it, there’s a song / dance named La Mayonesa…

Probably with some kind of R rating to it, but hey, it’s Latin so it’s just a cultural thing…

With that out of the way, on to the condiment:

In an earlier posting I’d lamented that Best Foods / Hellman’s and also Kraft have shrunk the size of a quart of Mayo to be 30 ounces. The suggestion was made that it’s pretty easy to make your own, and looking into it, that is very much the case.

In that posting, a couple of How To comments were made. One, by Young Heaving Bosoms Of Liberty (h/t) is simple and uses a stick blender (now on my shopping list):

With a stick blender the emulsification is nearly trivial. Extra light olive oil has nearly no flavor, and the more expensive avocado oil has none. It’s a 5 minute job, not counting the time to let the eggs warm up to room temperature. I usually just pull two eggs out of the fridge and put them in about 12 oz of hot water, and it stabilizes at room temp.


Find a vessel that is just a bit larger than the head of your stick blender. I use a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup.

Add room temperature eggs, seasonings (e.g. mustard), your acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar) to the cup.

Submerge the stick blender head, trying to avoid air bubbles.

Pour the amount of oil called for by the recipe on top and let it settle for a bit.

With the stick blender head firmly against the bottom, let ‘er rip. The watery ingredients combine, and then a little stream of oil will be sucked into the vortex. Keep the blender at the bottom until the oil isn’t streaming anymore, at which point you will have a nice thick emulsion. Then play with the blender head to get the rest of the oil incorporated.

My children can do it.

I’ve seen similar ones in various how to postings, and the general idea is one I’m going to be doing when I try a batch in a few days. Another posting pointed at Alton Brown’s method (h/t PaulID)

@ E.M. us Alton Browns recipe for Mayo which is adaptable it is the only one I use, watch his video and you will have some of the best mayo out there.

That first link gives you the recipe:

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Show: Good Eats
Episode: The Mayo Clinic


1 egg yolk*
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 pinches sugar
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup oil, safflower or corn


In a glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk and dry ingredients. Combine lemon juice and vinegar in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture. Start whisking briskly, then start adding the oil a few drops at a time until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a bit, (which means you’ve got an emulsion on your hands). Once you reach that point you can relax your arm a little (but just a little) and increase the oil flow to a constant (albeit thin) stream. Once half of the oil is in add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.

Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Now I’ve read a bunch of recipes on how to make mayo. The Alton Brown one is undoubtedly a good one as most of his stuff is pretty well done. But like all his stuff, he gets a bit over the top picky about some details. Like “glass bowl” (I’m pretty sure plastic or copper would work too) and “fine salt” (as opposed to his usual “kosher salt”… really, most of the time salt dissolves into the wet stuff so the exact kind of salt doesn’t change things much). I suspect some of that “marking” is just to mark the recipe as their creation for copyright purposes.

Now what I’m interested in is the idea of “Mayo-ness”. What are the essentials and what changes. Near as I can tell, one of the essentials is a fairly neutral oil. Years ago I tried making a mayo with Olive Oil, as everyone raved about it, and found the flavor too strong. To use strongly flavored oils, you either need to cut them with a neutral oil, or have a very special use in mind. The experience put me off making home made Mayo for years.

So the first “essential” is a cup of neutral oil. I’m likely to start with Safflower if I can find it, or a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of extra light (mild flavor) Olive Oil and Canola oil. Soybean is used in the common mayos like Kraft and Best foods. I’m not keen on it for some personal reasons (a niece who reacts badly to all things Soy; and the tendency to soak soybeans in Roundup these days as it’s mostly GMO “Roundup Ready”). As I am allergic to corn protein, I avoid corn products where possible (even though the oil ought to be protein free). Avocado Oil and Grape Oil are supposed to be good, but I’m going to avoid “strange and uncommon oils” at the start. The key takeaway here is that there are dozens of types of oil so many variations of flavor based on the oil choice. I’m going to start pedantic and then branch out into crazy jazz flavors later, once I’ve mastered “ordinary”.

The next “essential” is egg. Some recipes are only yoke. Some are whole eggs. Some, pushing the low cholesterol angle (in a product that is mostly fat…) use the egg whites. I’m going to try using a whole egg first, only falling back to “yoke only” if I fail. Best Foods / Hellman’s lists “Egg Yoke” and “Egg” as ingredients, so likely 1/2 and 1/2 yoke and whole egg. I’m going to use a large egg and only later figure out if medium or extra-large is better, or makes any difference at all.

Then there is “an acid”. This can be vinegar, in any of dozens of flavors for variations, or citrus juice (lemon, lime, etc.) or likely a few other acids (citric…)

Finally, the flavoring agents. Salt, pepper, sugar, mustard, any “special” adjuncts. The mustard also acts as an emulsifier, IIRC. Mustards, too, come in many styles and flavors, so yet more variations. “Prepared Mustard” is mostly just ground mustard seeds in some vinegar with some turmeric, so that can be used instead of dry powdered mustard with at most a small change to the other acid in the recipe.

The “trick” to making mayo is to slowly incorporate the oil. Start small and get all the other stuff mixed up with at most a touch of oil, then slowly add the rest. Avoid blending so much that things get hot…

In theory, that’s it for the basic “how to” of Mayo.

So “How much”? A teaspoon is about 15 ml for all practical purposes in the recipes. A cup is 250 ml more or less.

It seems to be, roughly, a cup of oil, one egg or large yoke or 2 small ones, 1 to 2 Tablespoons (3 to 6 teaspoons) of acid, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Then some pinches of optional sugar (or about 5 ml). It looks like several of these can vary and still make an interesting Mayo. Here’s a sample ingredient list from Epicurious:

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature 30 minutes
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil (or a combination), divided
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Their procedure is more complicated / exact in the order of mixing. I doubt much of it matters other than the slow incorporation of the oil.


Whisk together yolk, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined well. Add about 1/4 cup oil drop by drop, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Whisk in vinegar and lemon juice, then add remaining 1/2 cup oil in a very slow, thin stream, whisking constantly until well blended. If at any time it appears that oil is not being incorporated, stop adding oil and whisk mixture vigorously until smooth, then continue adding oil. Whisk in salt to taste and white pepper. Chill, surface covered with plastic wrap, until ready to use.

I found a couple of recipes that claim to make a close match to the Best Foods / Hellman’s brand (which is my historical buy).


1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
1 dash white pepper
1 cup canola oil, room temperature

I note this one for the easy to remember “unitary” sizes… 1 (whole) egg, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (so 3 teaspoons), 1 teaspoon each of dry mustard and vinegar, then just a dash of pepper with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 1 Cup of oil. That’s 4 teaspoons of acid which seems a bit high to me.

Their process is basically the same as all the stick blender recipes.


Break egg into bottom of 1-quart canning jar or other tall narrow jar. The jar should be only slightly wider than the end of the stick blender.
Add lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, table salt and white pepper.
Add 1 cup of vegetable oil.
Place mixing blades of stick blender (turned off) all the way to the bottom of the jar, pressing down over the egg.
Turn stick blender on high speed, hold in place at bottom of jar for about 5-seconds, until you see mayonnaise form under stick blender’s mixing blades.
Slowly pull stick blender upward until the mixing blades reaches top of jar, taking about 5-seconds to do so. The stick blender will turn the oil into mayonnaise as it is pulled slowly to the top of the jar.
Chill before using to allow mayonnaise to thicken slightly and for flavors to develop.

These folks copy a “Top Secret Recipes” version (they do link to the original site where they want 79 ¢ to see the recipe…)

1 egg yolk
2 1/4 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp water
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 c vegetable or canola oil

The “usual” cup of oil, 1 egg yoke (so not the same as Best Foods / Hellman’s as it is a mix of yoke and whole egg) then some strange mixed sizes. Why a tsp of water? Will 1/4 tsp of vinegar in 2 tsps really make any difference at all? Only 1/4 tsp of lemon juice, and then “plus 1/8” onthe salt and sugar? Not going to happen… I suspect someone making strange minor changes to “brand” it as “special” and “theirs”.

This next one uses regular old yellow mustard:

It claims to be an adaptation of the Alton Brown one above.


1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 pinches granulated sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (can sub apple cider or rice wine vinegar)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup light olive oil

Using light olive oil, so a bit of olive flavor. “The usual” one egg yoke. 1 Tsp yellow mustard, so not the picky stuff nor the dry stuff. Fine “sea salt” – is that really going to matter? But a full 1/2 tsp of it. Pinches of sugar and then 1 Table Spoon of vinegar AND 2 tsp of lemon juice. This will be a bit more tart of a mayo.

Their process uses a whisk… for those unafraid of lots of arm work.


In a large glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard, sea salt and sugar (if using).
In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk half of the vinegar mixture into the egg mixture until thoroughly combined.
Start whisking briskly, then begin adding the oil a few drops at a time, until the liquid begins to thicken and lighten a bit. Once you reach that point, continue whisking while you add the oil in a very slow, steady stream. Once half of the oil has been incorporated, whisk in the remaining vinegar mixture. Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated.
Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, then refrigerate for up to 1 week.

WebMD has a review of commercial “lite” mayonnaise products, then lists a DIY option:


1 large egg (use a higher omega-3 brand, if available)

1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1/4 teaspoon honey (granulated sugar can be substituted)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper (black pepper can be substituted)

1/2 cup canola oil

6 tablespoons fat-free sour cream (light sour cream can be substituted)

Here we only use 1/2 cup of oil, but add 6 tablespoons of “fat-free sour cream” which seems like an oxymoron to me. A whole egg is used, the 1 Tablespoon of acid (either of vinegar or lemon), 1/4 of “Dijon” mustard for more spicy effect, honey instead of sugar (but sugar is OK too…) and the 1/4 of salt and pepper.

They use a food processor…


In food processor, combine egg; vinegar or lemon juice; mustard; honey; salt and white pepper, pulsing until totally blended.
With food processor running, slowly add canola oil in a steady stream through the open tube on the lid (about 60 seconds). Scrape sides of food processor bowl with rubber spatula, add fat-free sour cream and pulse a few seconds more.
Add more vinegar, mustard, honey, or pepper if needed for desired flavor.

Yield: 1 1/8 cup (18 tablespoons)

The variations seem numerous, so not much risk of not getting a mayo, just one that tastes “different”. One recipe in addition to the usual nags about raw eggs, said you can pasteurize your own by soaking them in a bowl of water at 145 F (IIRC) for about 1/2 hour. This link says 5 minutes:

How To Pasteurize Eggs

March 19, 2015 By Elise

Well, the risk of salmonella even in conventional eggs is only about 1 in 20,000 (source), but is it really worth tempting fate?

Honestly, pasteurizing your own eggs at home is so easy, that it doesn’t even have to be a question.

All it involved is water, a candy thermometer, a saucepan, and, of course, eggs.
How To Pasteurize Eggs


Candy thermometer or instant read thermometer
Room temperature Eggs


Fill a saucepan with enough water to completely cover the eggs, and place over very low heat.
Clip candy thermometer to the side. You can also skip the candy thermometer and just “wing it” by heating the water until it’s hot enough that you can’t stand to dip your finger in for more than a second. This method isn’t reliable though, and I highly recommend a thermometer.
Heat water to 140º and hold it there for a few minutes to make sure you have your heat level adjusted properly. You don’t want to put your eggs in only to have your temperature rise and cook them.

Place eggs gently in the water.
The water temperature may dip a bit when the eggs are added.
Bring temperature back up to 140º and hold for five minutes.
Remove eggs from warm water and let cool.

Salmonella is killed at a temperature of 136º, which should be attained using this method, however, it’s not a 100% guarantee. Since we don’t have any way to measure the internal temperature of the egg. But if nothing else, you’ve reduced the risk from one in twenty thousand, to even less. Much, much less!

They start with room temperature eggs, I note. My tap hot water is about 155 F, so this could be quick and easy. I’ll likely not bother as I had turtles when I was a kid and have had raw egg nog most of my life. I’m certain to have been loaded with salmonella at various times and by now have lots of immunity.

Then this one uses a blender (the regular with a big glass beaker on top kind):


1 whole egg
1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons distilled vinegar (clear)
1 cup canola oil
1 dash paprika (optional)

Note that it uses a whole egg. Then 1/2 teaspoons each of dry mustard and salt, a full 2 Tablespoons (or 6 teaspoons) of vinegar, and the usual one cup of oil. A dash of paprika replacing the pepper.


Serving size is 1 tablespoon. Recipe makes 1-1/4 cups mayonnaise.
Wash the outside of the egg shell with soap and water.
Rinse and dry.
In blender, add egg, dry mustard, vinegar, (optional paprika) and 1/4 cup oil.
Turn on low for 1-2 minutes.
Turn blender off, and scrape sides if necessary.
Turn blender on, and while it is running, slowly add the remaining 3/4 cups oil.
Blend until the consistency of mayonnaise.
Refrigerate in non-reactive container.
FOR VARIATION: Add 1/4-1/2 tsp of your desired seasoning, such as, basil, tarragon, or parsley.

Note the seasoned variations. That WebMD link, in the page prior to the DIY recipe (page 3) has several flavored mayonnaises made by blending flavorings into mayo. Looks like the sky is the limit there.

To Recap

OK, the basics are pretty clear. Cup of oil and some mustard (most any kind and about 1/2 teaspoon), with an egg or egg yoke tossed in, along with a tablespoon or two of a liquid acid (mostly from the vinegar and lemon juice families), along with a small amount of salt (about 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon) and some optional pepper or seasonings. Sugar or other sweetener if you like, but only a touch. Start with things at about room temperature, and slowly add the oil as you blend or whisk, never getting it hot.

Pretty simple, I’d say. Biggest problem looks to be deciding just what flavor you like and figuring out what ingredients get you there.

For me, that’s going to be a cup of neutral flavored oil, 2 Tablespoon of plain white vinegar, a whole egg, 1 tsp yellow mustard, and a very small amount of salt & pepper. Just plain old table salt and the white pepper I use in mashed potatoes. About 1/4 and 1/8 teaspoons each, respectively. I think that ought to do it for a first try at bland commercial style mayo.

Clearly with all the variations shown in the recipes above, there are LOTS of things that make a mayo. Once I have a neutral plain one, then I can think about things like the merit of Lite Olive Oil or the flavor ‘kick’ from a bit-o-honey in the mix. But first I need to buy a stick blender… Time to go shopping I think.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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39 Responses to Mayonnaise

  1. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; I have been using a “KitchenAid” stick blender. It is a solid piece of machinery and well designed for ease of use and has a builtin thermal overload breaker if you over work it like I do ;-) grinding up dry and wet stuff.
    I will need to practice your mayo making to create salad dressings as my lady likes to pick up store bought for convenience and I don’t really care for them. LOL :-)…pg

  2. philjourdan says:

    I am no cook. Never have been. But I had to laugh at mustard being an ingredient in Mayonnaise. So I can bypass the mustard on my hamburgers now! :-)

  3. Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty says:

    For people who can’t have egg whites (e.g. on the Auto Immune Protocol diet), you can make a great garlic mayo by using two yolks, 4 Tbsp water, and at least half a bulb of garlic. Acid and oil as before, but no mustard.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    Mayo First Fire Report:

    Well, I’ve made my first decent mayonnaise. Slight modifications from my proposed starting point above. I found I had a small tin of dry mustard in the cupboard, so used 1 tsp of that. Didn’t see a 1/4 tsp measure so used 1/2 tsp of salt. “Guessed” the white pepper in that spoon as about 1/8 tsp. The egg, I think, was a “large”. (I’d consolidated two cartons into one… of two different sizes).

    Oh, and I used a regular blender instead of a stick blender. (There was a cheapo Osterizer brand for $20, but the good stick blender was nearly $50…)

    Into the blender, put 2 TableSpoons of plain white vinegar. Added 1/2 tsp of table salt, about 1/8 tsp of white pepper, and 1 tsp of dry mustard (plain yellow kind). Plopped in 1 whole egg. Filled the measuring cup with Walmart House Brand Canola oil, and poured about 2 tsp to a Tablespoon into the blender. Top on it, one short run at the slowest speed to mix. About 1 or 2 seconds on “liquefy”. Then stopped, took the little plug out of the top so I had an access hole, and turned it back on again. Over about 1/2 a minute? poured the rest of the oil in with about a 1 mm to 2 mm stream width.

    At first it looks very yellow and not at all like mayo. Slowly it gets whiter and a bit thicker, then with just a bit of oil left, maybe an ounce?, it suddenly becomes mayo. I stopped the blender and scraped down the sides a bit, even though nothing much was on them, then ran it another few seconds to assure things were well blended.

    At that point it looked a tiny bit yellow. Not pure white. I decided to try an idea, and added about 1 Tablespoon of plain water while blending. Slowly. The mayo whitened up significantly and also seemed to “fluff” up a bit in volume.

    At that point I declared it done.

    Decanting the mayo into a Mayo jar was the hardest part. A lot sticks in the blender and does not want to come out. A rubber spatula / scraper helps. Eventually it got stuck on one of the blades, and I just unscrewed the blade assembly. At that point, I set the blender vessel on top of the jar and just pushed the rest down and out.

    The end result is NOT an exact duplicate of Hellman’s / Best Foods. It is still a very good mayo of the sort I wanted. It is a bit more “flowing”. I expect that to change as it is refrigerated. The flavor is a noticeable amount more “tangy”. I kind of like that ;-) A future batch will have a little less vinegar just to see if I can get closer to the model.

    I made a grilled cheese sandwich with it, and despite a few darker than desired edges as I ran the pan too hot in my zeal, it was a very nice product. I’m quite happy with it. I think there was a bit more tendency to absorb into the bread (perhaps the temperature or the water added) and it seemed to “sizzle” more on the pan (excess heat or that water again?) But overall, quite nice. Most anything can work on a cold sandwich, but for a cooked one, you must work well in the spreading cold, when heated, and as both a cooked flavor (surface) and not (near the cheese). Only complaint would be that it seemed just a bit “flat” like maybe not enough salt.

    Future changes:

    I’m not going to bother with the water in the future. A slight yellow color I can get used to. It may well “whiten” in the fridge anyway.

    Reduce the acid a little. Maybe 4 or 5 teaspoons instead of 6 ( 3 teaspoons / Tablespoon).

    Try a batch with a whole teaspoon of salt in it, if the above changes are not enough to make it just right.

    Try some better oils… Yeah, house brand canola worked fine, but… So a bottle of extra light olive oil and some safflower oil is in my future.

    But really, it’s fine just as I used it. In fact, while cleaning the blade assembly and the blender vessel, I found myself licking it off my fingers… ;-) I think it was the extra “tang” and less greasy feel of it. It was just GOOD straight from the blender… So any variations are going to be minor for a while.


    I’ve hinted and the spouse has made positive noises about one being in my future gift list for birthdays and such… A big part of why I didn’t buy one and used the regular blender… could not wait for presents nor “first mayo” ;-)


    Anyone can cook! (Watch your Disney movies! (Ratatouille) )

    Mustard is a spice (adds peppery zip) but also an emulsifying agent. Here it is used for both a ‘zing’ factor and for the ability to make oil and water mix. Same reason you find a bit of it many “oil and vinegar” salad dressings. Helps hold it all together. Egg yolk does the same thing. Just think of them as yellow detergents with flavor ;-)

    For me, with only 1 tsp of mustard per cup of mayo, it’s way not enough for a hamburger. I need about as much mustard as mayo and sometimes more ;-) OTOH, you could make your own “Mustard Mayo” and only need one condiment…


    My family has a lot of food issues. Comes with the turf of an immune system that attacks everything so never sick with infections / colds much and recover very fast. But as a consequence, we make a LOT of “stuff that isn’t that stuff”. Recipes for dairy things without dairy for some of us. Breads, cookies and cakes without wheat for another. Meat that isn’t and ketchup without tomatoes. On and on.

    So thanks for yet another “stuff without the stuff” recipe! As some family members are vegan, I was going to look into vegan mayo sometime. This is a big step forward (as one person in the family who’s vegan also loves garlic – win win!)

    I’m not familiar with eggs as autoimmune issue stimulant. Pointers? Elaboration? As the spouse and I both are getting ‘creaky joints’ and eat lots of eggs, that sent up a “pay attention” balloon for me…

  5. another jim says:

    A note on neutral oil manufacture.
    start with raw natural oil pressed from source like corn, palm coconut or cotton seed.
    Filter out cloudiness, removing lecithin and related membrane lipids. But you can buy them as supplements.
    High temperature vacuum strip with nitrogen at 250 C, ostensibly to remove odors. Removes low molecular weight components, Vit A, Vit E, Vit K, phytosterols, flavonoids, xanthenes and other antioxidants. But you can buy them as supplements.
    Activated carbon to “decolorize” removes remaining antioxidants.
    This gives you a neutral oil, free of those nasty vitamins and antioxidants, just an odorless triglyceride oil.
    I will stick to natural unrefined unmanufactured oils thank you.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    If you want a neutral flavored source of acidity try citric acid. It is available as a powder in the canning supplies section and I have found it very nice for adding a bit of acidity to things like tomato sauce without giving a strong acetic acid flavor (although for some foods I like that flavor highlight)

    It is a strong acidifier so just a pinch is all you need for most dishes. Go light on the citric acid powder until you find the right quantity for your taste target.

  7. Terry Jay says:

    Try Avocado Oil. Been using it for years, and IMO much better than Olive oil for most uses. Stands higher temps almost as well as coconut oil. Costco is the brand of choice. Also, lots of Paleo sites have mayo recipes.

  8. jim2 says:

    Try adding the oil a little at a time with the blender on.

  9. Bulaman says:

    Old school style
    1 can HIGHLANDER Sweetened Condensed Milk, 395g
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup malt vinegar
    1 tsp mustard powder or wholegrain mustard

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Jim:

    Where does one get un-manufactured oils?…. All I’ve seen in stores is the bottled stuff made to last years on the shelf.


    I have a bottle used for canning ;-) IIRC it was about $3 at Walmart. I’ll get around to trying it eventually, but wanted to start with a known recipe. I’ve not seen any mayo recipes with citric acid… I suppose I could just dissolve it in water until it tastes as sour as vinegar and then use the same volume…


    Costco, eh? And here I thought Avocado oil would be hard to find… I’ll take a look at Paleo sites (didn’t know they existed, but in retrospect it makes sense… most everything exists as a specialty site somewhere).


    I figured I’d just do a continuous pour but at a slow rate. That seems easier to me that the start – stop -start – stop of pulse pours. Am I missing something?


    As we don’t have HIGHLANDER brand here, is it in some way different from Carnation or Pet or other brands?

    With no oil in it, is that REALLY a mayo? Or just a soured cream sauce? The original Mayo was invented as the chef was out of heavy cream (IIRC or maybe sour cream) for his usual sauce… so are you just going retro back into that sauce?

  11. jim2 says:

    Never mind :)

  12. jim2 says:

    I had thought about this years before. I was thinking using different acidic liquids: lemon juice, orange juice, lime, different vinegars – when combined with different oils, there is a wide variety of flavors possible.

  13. Larry Ledwick says:


    I have a bottle used for canning ;-) IIRC it was about $3 at Walmart. I’ll get around to trying it eventually, but wanted to start with a known recipe. I’ve not seen any mayo recipes with citric acid… I suppose I could just dissolve it in water until it tastes as sour as vinegar and then use the same volume…

    My experience is that for most dishes, (quart sauce pan of spaghetti sauce or a sweet and sour sauce, a small pinch of the powdered citric acid is equivalent to typical recipe amounts of cider or white vinegar. I add it by taste start with a small pinch and then tweak it slightly as necessary.

    If you look at the contents of commercial tomato sauce in a can you see its ph is boosted with citric acid. Citric acid is very flavor neutral so is very friendly to most recipes if you want to add a touch of acid either to increase the time it will store in the fridge and to help thicken it (why I add it to spaghetti sauce, the added acid will help the natural pectin to firm up).

  14. Larry Ledwick says:

    For the chemists out there – yes I got it backwards ph is lowered by adding citric acid – it’s early.

  15. jim2 says:

    On a somewhat related note, I like sour biscuits. I’ve tried several recipes, some including buttermilk, but nothing hits the spot – the bitter taste doesn’t persist. I suspect an organic acid additive is used to make the tasty, slightly bitter biscuits. I’ve tried cream of tarter. There are several food grade organic acids to try, but haven’t got a roundtuit yet.

  16. jim2 says:

    On another related note, I am a chemist and also acquired a book, “Kitchen Science” by Howard Hillman. It explains some of the chemistry behind cooking. Of course, chemistry knowledge alone won’t make you a good cook. For that you need to know the taste and other qualitative properties of ingredients. And then you have to have the experience and imagination to know how to combine them into a tasty, attractive dish with a good ‘feel’ in the mouth.

  17. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. – “Anyone can cook!” But not EVERYONE can cook! I am part of the everyone. :-)

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    Learn to make a sourdough starter. It’s fairly trivial. Flour, water, yeast, and some milk or yogurt for the ‘starter’. It takes a bit of work to keep the yeast / lactic bacteria balance right (the pitch out a cup and add more flour and water each day or two process). This gives an acidic dough with lactic acid. Now you can either use if fairly fresh for a light sourdough effect like buttermilk biscuits or you could just add some percentage of it to a regular recipe (though the acid will start any backing powder going active so mix and bake fast…)

    Just an idea…

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    That comment got me wondering about just putting yogurt in a biscuit… seems folks beat me to it:

    usapeach58 7

    Recipe by: usapeach58
    “With only 2 ingredients, you can’t miss! These taste like old-fashioned buttermilk or sourdough biscuits. The easiest recipe for biscuits, and so very good! Enjoy with butter, honey, or jelly.”

    2 cups all-purpose biscuit baking mix

    1 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt

    Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
    Place the biscuit mix into a bowl and lightly stir in the yogurt just until barely combined. Mixture will seem dry. Knead to mix a few times, but don’t overknead. Roll the dough out lightly onto a floured work surface about 1/2-inch thick; cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter.
    Bake in the preheated oven until lightly golden brown, about 8 minutes.

  20. Larry Ledwick says:

    You can also buy lactic acid powder ( used for home brew ph adjustment)

  21. jim2 says:

    EM and LL – I’ve already been through a bunch of biscuit recipes using sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, and other non-purified-non-“chemical” ingredients. I didn’t find anything very satisfying. I’ve also made the “starter” but it didn’t make good sourdough bread, although it did act as yeast does. I never got around to using malic, lactic, and/or citric acids; that that’s down there on my list somewhere.

  22. jim2 says:

    I may try the yogurt one for biscuits anyway.

  23. jim2 says:

    The thing about making your own ‘sour dough’ starter is that there are different types of wild yeasts in different parts of the country. Heck, my guess would be that the composition varies with the season. I made a starter from scratch and kept it going for a while. Made several loaves of bread with it, but it just didn’t have that sour dough taste I was after.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    As sourdough starter ages, it gets more acid. At first the yeast makes some alcohol, then the bacteria turn it into acetic and lactic acid (depending on the bacteria available). Add flour too fast and you get blander starter as the yeast dominates. Add flour more slowly, the bacteria catch up and take over and you get more sour flavor with bigger “crumb”.

    So it isn’t just the yeast. And it isn’t just the bacteria. It’s also how long you let it sit before you start feeding it fresh flour and how long it sits between uses. The older and slower the feeding of fresh flour, the more sour the product.. I also like using yogurt or buttermilk for the “starting a starter” as it has more interesting lactic acid bacteria types than plain milk (and isn’t pasteurized …)

    From your description of the starter that ‘acted like yeast’, is sounds like you had a big yeast colony, but lacking in lactic acid bacteria. Add some yogurt with live cultures and let it sit a day…

    Oh, and IIRC, you can kick up more of one or the other with some sugar in the mix instead of just adding more flour. Don’t remember it it gives more yeast or more lactobacillus…

    The key is to remember that you are trying to maintain a balance between two different fermentation organism. So if it is too yeasty, just let it sit overnight without that whole “take out a cup and add flour” thing, or let it sit a few days in the fridge. As I didn’t want that much sourdough bread, my starter rapidly got more “tart” than I wanted as it would sit a few days between uses / feedings.

  25. jim2 says:

    EM – what you say makes sense. One reason I don’t have the starter anymore is it was a pain to maintain. I would rather find something that works out of the box so to speak. That’s why I will eventually try some non-volatile organic acids. Nonvolatile because acids like vinegar bake out.

  26. jim2 says:

    I going to go Trumpian and say this anyway, sourdough starter and a vagina have a lot in common :)

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    Citric acid is readily avaliable and is the food science acid of choice for commecial product acidification. Read labels and you find it in things from sodas to canned soups to frozen dinners.

    Citric Acid, or “sour salt,” is a weak, organic acid naturally found in citrus fruits. It is most often used as a natural preservative or to add an acidic or sour taste to food and baked products. Citric Acid can also be used as an emulsifying agent. For example, it is added to some ice creams to keep fats from separating. It is sold commercially as white, powdery substance.

    Citric Acid often shows up in baked goods and cake mixes, canned foods and many processed sweets. It is also used in caramels to stop sucrose crystallization. Aside from culinary use, citric acid is also used in cleaning products because it functions as a pH manipulator.
    Citric acid can be used to replace liquid lemon juice or vinegar in recipes to add a sourness. It can easily mix into liquids and will decompose when heated above 174 degrees Celsius or 345.2 degrees Fahrenheit. It can enhance the flavor in a citrus-based recipe. A few shakes of the “sour salt” adds a strong flavor to frostings or glazes. Another popular application is adding it to sourdough or rye breads for a touch of tang. Bread products usually only need a teaspoon or less. Store citric acid in a dry, cool place without exposure to moisture. Smaller packets are helpful in helping retain flavor.

    A true kitchen multi-tasker, sour salt lends a wonderfully assertive tang to sourdough breads, but can do much, much more.
    A touch will enhance the lemon or lime flavor in any citrus-based recipe.
    Can be used to curdle milk to make your own fresh ricotta cheese.
    What you get
    Make your sourdough bread really sing with sour salt (citric acid). 3.4-ounce jar.
    Test kitchen tips
    Just ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon per loaf will give your sourdough a wonderfully assertive tang.
    Add a tablespoon to your dishwasher to clean and delime it; also works for coffee makers.

    More than you ever want to know about cracker, biscuit, and cookie tech:

  28. jim2 says:

    Tried the yogurt biscuits using recipe as written. The dough was too wet, a bit like bread dough and the biscuits were cake-like. It may be that Dannon has been upping the water content of yogurt to make more money. At any rate, I would start with about 6 oz of yogurt, mix that in, then slowly add dollops of yogurt, mixing it in until you have a slightly crumbly dough that will stick together when compressed. That’s more like what most biscuit doughs are like. I’ll try again a bit later.

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    Might be that the recipe was geared to Greek Yogurt which has higher solids in it…

  30. jim2 says:

    EM – read a bunch of the comments there. Some remarked was too wet, some too dry. So, as with most things, a little skill may be required ;)

  31. jim2 says:

    From what I’m reading, the Greek yogurt looks interesting also because it is more ‘tangy.’ The first batch had a good taste, but not sour enough. I’m looking for a level of sour found in Cheez-Its. I don’t buy those anymore because they are made by Kelloggs, who dropped their advertising on Breitbart, thus pissing me off.

    The yogurt path is interesting, but I’ll probably end up using lactic, malic, citric, or some combination. I’ll try them all using equivalent moles of acid to compare the sourness and overall taste.

  32. jim2 says:

    Even 6 oz of the Dannon was a bit too much, but the biscuits were a lot more biscuit-like. Pretty good too.

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    You could dry it out a bit by adding more dry mixture to the recipe so it works out properly with the standard serving size you choose to use.

    Here at high altitude we have to “tweak” lots of recipes to get them to come out right. Different cooking times due to lower boiling point of water, and changes in what ever causes the mixture to rise due to the lower atmospheric pressure, and often a bit more liquid to make up for our very low humidity. I almost never cook with the exact recipe in the book. I consider them just ball park recommendations and make final adjustments near the end to get the right stiffness of the dough/batter as the case my be by adding the liquid gradually or spiking the final mix with a bit more dry product to suck up some of the moisture.

  34. jim2 says:

    LL – I once tried to re hydrate some freeze-dried soup in your neighborhood at 14,000 feet on a portable stove. It took forever!

  35. jim2 says:

    Full-fat Greek yogurt made good biscuits by the given recipe.

  36. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks for that! The implication is that skinny yogurt might work with some added butter and the right flour ratio. But I like full fat Greek so there you go ;-)

  37. tom0mason says:

    For years I’ve used citric acid and vitamin C powder (unflavored powder from health food shops) together, as they play nicely together. Apart from getting your vitamin C dose, it also act as a preservative for many foods. Vitamin C powder has a much milder acidic flavor when compared to citric acid.
    You don’t need much either to make the difference, I use this combination in black tea to make a very, very mild citrus tea — about 1/8 of a teaspoon of each to the mugfull of black tea.

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