Monday, April 02, 2012

bread, made of corn

We'd already talked about dinner. With a fridge full of leftovers, and being a few days late on the grocery shopping, it seemed only natural that we'd delve into deliciousness made on days past. Life should be so easy, right? We all know that I don't do things that simply.

Come about five o'clock, and cravings struck. Intense desire, no need for new food. Carbs, breads, chocolates: something with a nice crumb. I could go out to the corner store and grab a box of cookies, but that seemed particularly unsatisfying. But cookies? They might do the trick. Out came the cookie book.

Chocolate chip was out, as I do that so often. A quick check of the pantry revealed that we were out of oats and nuts. Options were limited, it seemed. Then, out of nowhere, I flipped the page and my eyes landed on not one but two recipes for cornmeal cookies. Cookies described as tasting just like cornbread. Rather brilliant, no?

Brilliant or not, it wasn't going to fly. If I wanted something that tasted like cornbread, maybe I should just make cornbread. So that's what I did. I mean who doesn't like cornbread, right?

I used a pretty basic sweetened cornbread recipe, nothing too fancy. Because there weren't many ingredients, modifications were simple. This is a cornier cornbread than most, as I changed the flour/cornmeal ratio (so there would be more corn goodness). This made two big changes in the bread. To start with, you loose a little bit of a bready, soft texture and gain a more mealy texture. The upside to this is that everything tastes that much more intensely of corn. (If that's not your thing, use even amounts of cornmeal and flour.) Another change was to switch out the oil for applesauce, because that tends to make things moister in my mind.

Slightly Sweet Corny Cornbread
adapted from allrecipes.com
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flous
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cups white sugar*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 cup milk***
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
* I'm sure this would also be delicious with brown sugar. I'd also love to try honey, but that's something to be careful with, as it changes the dry/liquid rations
** This sounds like a lot of baking powder, but after baking this I absolutely would not reduce this
*** You can sub a can of creamed corn for the milk
**** If you don't have applesauce (preferably unsweetened) just use your favourite low flavour cooking oil (vegetable, canola)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Lightly grease a 9" cake pan*.
  2. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Lightly wisk to evenly incorporate all dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, applesauce. Mix well.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined.
  5. Transfer batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula to ensure even distribution.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes. The top should have begun to brown just at the edges, and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cornbread will come out clean.
* You can also try this in a cast iron skillet, or a loaf pan. If you use a loaf pan you'll want to be careful of your cooking times, as it might change.

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