CORNY CORNBREAD: A Moist Cornbread, Full Of Corn Flavor!

corny cornbread textCornbread often doesn’t live up to expectations. While it may look buttery-moist with it’s vibrant yellow color, one bite sends you reaching for the water glass. The other side of the coin is the cornbread you get at some restaurants, so full of sugar and fat that’s it’s really just a slice of cake.

Here’s a recipe I got from America’s Test Kitchen that uses whole corn kernels pulsed in a food processor to release their juice, combined with the usual cornmeal to maximize corn flavor. Make it in a cast iron skillet to get that lovely golden brown crust.

NOTE:  A blender probably wouldn’t work for chopping the corn – the kernals might get stuck under the blades. You could try running the blender empty, then dropping in the corn. Or better yet, try using canned creamed corn. I’ve not actually done that, but would think it would work.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: A cast iron skillet is best for cornbread – it gives it that nice crust. If you don’t have one, make sure your skillet’s handle can take the high heat of the oven. (Then put a 10″ cast iron skillet on your birthday or holiday list!)

CORNY CORNBREAD

  • 1 cup (5.75 oz) cornmeal (I use medium grind, but you can use fine grind if you don’t like the grit – or a combination)
  • 1 cup (4.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen corn (canned or fresh would work, too)
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce (or any hot sauce)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450º Fahrenheit.  Make sure you do this to get that nice crust!

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.corny cornbread3Melt the butter and set aside to cool a bit.melted butterInto the workbowl of your food processor (If you don’t own one, put it on your birthday or holiday list, which is becoming longer by the minute!)), add the corn, sour cream, eggs, and hot sauce. Pulse about 6 times to break up corn.corny cornbread4Pour the corn mixture into the cornmeal mixture and gently stir a few times. (The dry mixture will buffer the eggs so they don’t cook when the hot butter is added.) Then add in the butter and complete blending the ingredients just to the point where the flour in incorporated. Don’t over mix – overmixing a quick bread (which this is) will produce a tough bread.corny cornbread5 On the stovetop, heat the oil in a 10″ cast iron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Turn off heat and pour in batter (you’ll hear sizzling), spreading it out evenly and smoothing top. corny cornbread6Place in hot oven and bake at 450º F for 18-25 minutes. (Set your timer for 18 minutes and test with a toothpick – when done, it should come out clean. Reset timer and cook longer, if need be.) corny cornbread1When done, remove from oven and let cornbread set in skillet at least 20 minutes before slicing.

 

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CORNBREAD -What A Difference Cast Iron Makes!!!

corn-bread-textSeveral months ago I jumped onboard the cast iron craze and bought a 10″ skillet that I found at a thrift store. I absolutely love it, and my fear of keeping it seasoned was for nothing. It’s quite easy, really. After washing, all one has to do is rub a bit of vegetable oil over the surface, then place on the stove using a medium/high flame, letting it dry for 1 minute.

So now that I have this fabulous skillet, I was looking forward to making cornbread in it. As expected, the cast iron produced a perfect cornbread with a nice crisp bottom, side, and top, with a delicate center.

Of course, a good recipe is essential. Not all cornbread recipes are created equal – I’ve found the results often disappointing – dry and gritty. As a fan of America’s Test Kitchen, I eagerly attempted (and tweaked) their recipe. YUMMY!

CORNBREAD

  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 3/4 + 2 T milk (I use nonfat)
  • OR 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1  1/3 cups medium grind cornmeal
  • 3 ears corn (about 1¾ cups nibblets)
  • 6 T butter, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 yolk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp salt

Make buttermilk (unless you’re using store bought buttermilk) by combining vinegar and milk. Stir in the cornmeal to soften it. Let stand while preparing the cornbread.

Remove corn from cobs by running a knife downwards and away from you along the cob. NOTE: You can use frozen or canned, if you’d rather.

Purée corn in a food processor for about 1 minute, stopping now and then to scrape down the sides. Pour into a saucepan and, stirring often, cook over medium heat until reduced to about 3/4 cup – about 8-10 minutes. It will become quite thick. Remove from heat and stir in 5 T butter.

Preheat oven to 400º Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and yolk. Stir the eggs and buttermilk/cornmeal into the thickened corn.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in the corn mixture, blending gently until dry ingredients are just incorporated into the wet. (Over mixing can lead to a tough bread.)

Heat remaining 1 T butter in a 10″ cast iron skillet. When skillet is hot, turn off stove and pour in cornmeal dough, smoothing top. Bake in preheated oven at 400º F for 25 minutes, until top begins to brown. Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Let cool 20 minutes on rack before slicing. (If you slice it too soon, it will fall apart.)