I don't know why, but I've always had an obsession with cornbread, even though I rarely ate it. Back in Montreal, I'd even bought a bag of cornmeal to keep in the pantry - I may have cooked up some polenta once or twice, but the cornbread just never happened.
I finally had my chance to make cornbread when I was making my rice cooker chili. It was my day off, so I prepped everything for the chili in the morning, then when it came time to "make dinner", I just mixed the cornbread batter and popped it in the oven.
Now that I've finally made the cornbread, my only question is - what took me so long? I'm now tempted to have a bag of cornmeal and some frozen or canned corn on hand at all times to whip up some cornbread when I see fit.
I used Dorie Greenspan's Corniest Corn Muffins recipe, which she'd kindly posted on Serious Eats. I was able to whip up the batter quickly - any recipe that doesn't require me to bring out the electric mixer is great in my books - then dumped it all into a 9" round cake pan instead of dividing it into muffin tins.
The cornbread was crumbly, but moist, and bursting with corn flavour. I felt guilty about the fact that I turned a recipe that made 12 muffins into one that made eight wedges of cornbread, so I tried to halve my wedges... the nutrition info below assumes that you slice the round into a more realistic eight.
Also, don't forget to read to the bottom of the recipe and follow Dorie's storage instructions - otherwise, the cornbread is so moist that if you leave it at room temperature it begins to turn stinky and bitter in 3-4 days (ew.)
Whole Wheat CornbreadPS: My friend A. recently went on a cornbread-making rampage as well, using and making variations on Paula Deen's Moist & Easy Cornbread. She was looking for suggestions on what to do with leftover buttermilk - I think throwing it in mac & cheese is an excellent idea, but would welcome any others :)
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan via Serious Eats
Makes 1 9" round or 12 muffins
- 1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) cornmeal
- 6 tbsp (90 mL) sugar
- 2½ tsp (12 mL) baking powder
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
- 1 pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- 1 cup buttermilk (250 mL)
- 3 tbsp butter (45 mL), melted and cooled
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) corn oil, or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned (drained and patted dry)
Nutrition Info (per 1/8 recipe): 288 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated), 65 mg cholesterol, 42 g carbohydrate (3 g fibre, 12 g sugar), 6 g protein, 266 mg sodium. An excellent source of manganese and selenium.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (205˚C). Grease a 9" round cake pan or a 12 regular-sized muffin tins.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a large glass measuring cup with a spout or in another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, egg and yolk. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy and that’s just the way it should be. Stir in the corn kernels. Pour batter into cake pan or divide into muffin molds.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (15 to 18 if making muffins), or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for about 10 minutes before turning out on a rack to cool, or serve directly from pan, preferably with chili, or butter and jam.
- If possible, consume cornbread the day it's made. Wrap any leftover cornbread in plastic wrap and store in freezer for up to a month. To serve, reheat in a 300°F (150˚C) oven or toast in toaster oven.