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the best damn cornbread ever!

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tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

the best damn cornbread ever!

OK so it's not sourdough, it's not even yeasted. But and this is a big but, i swear it is the best damn cornbread EVER!

In fact, I have just vowed to myself that I can only make this for a special treat because over the course of just today I have lost all reason and have eaten more of this cornbread than i care to admit!

This cornbread recipe is taken from Peter Reinhart's Brother Juniper's Bread Book. cornbread 1

It is the perfect sweetness; I went just a little lighter on the sugar than the recipe called for due to the fact that the actual corn I used was off of cobs that I had frozen fresh from last summer, and I knew how sweet it was. There is a healthy amount of buttermilk in the recipe, and the clincher I think is the generous amount of uncooked polenta (out of the 3 cups of polenta it called for I substituted 1/2 of it with stoneground cornmeal just because I didn't have enough polenta). The uncooked polenta gave each bite a perfect little crunch inside the buttery moistness.

cornbread 2

As you can see, the top developed a nice crispy crunch, it is I must say Cornbread Perfection.

For those of you who dare to indulge here is my exact version - ever so slightly altered from Peter's recipe:

 

  • 4 cups all purpose white (I used King Arthur organic)
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked polenta + 1/2 cup stoneground organic cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1 cup raw sugar granules
  • 2 rounded cups corn kernels (I used frozen corn from farm fresh cobs from last summer)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 3 cups Buttermilk


Mix all dry ingredients together including corn kernels (used fingers). Wisk eggs, then wisk in Buttermilk and butter. Pour wet ingredients into dry and then mix together (I used my hand again) only until all of the flour is hydrated but no more. Pour into a greased pan. I used one that is rectangular, probably an 8X14 or around there. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out fairly clean from the middle. And it rises! It is big and thick and makes a lot.

So, if you like cornbread, your in for a treat. Make this if you dare, but be prepared!

It is really perfect the way it is, but I am wonderng if a few chopped up hot chile peppers might make it even more sinful!

Enjoy!

 

Comments

smartdog's picture
smartdog

That does look good! I have one that I've been using from allrecipes.com which is also TO DIE FOR
if you want to try another GREAT ONE!

Golden Sweet Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow corn meal (I used medium grind)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsps baking powder
1 egg (I used egg beaters)
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 can creamed corn

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray or lightly grease a 9" round cake pan, or a 12-muffin or -cupcake pan.
Combine dry ingredients (flour, corn meal, sugar, salt) in a large bowl. Stir in wet ingredients (egg, buttermilk, melted butter, creamed corn) and mix well. Pour batter into cake pan, or fill each muffin well 2/3 full (evenly distribute batter).
Bake cake pan in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes; bake muffins for 15 minutes. When done, a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.


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tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

that one looks good too. Sometimes there is just nothing like cornbread!

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

My wife loves cornbread, though I must say that my experiences having it were not very good.  Most of the cornbread I have had has been very dry, and mealy.  Kinda like chewing on dry ground up cardboard.  This looks very moist and lovely. 

In your ingredients you list "raw sugar granules".  I take it this is not the same as plain ol' sugar?  And would you think using plain ol' sugar would work if it is different?

TT

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

...this cornbread is the farthest thing from dry. I've had the dry kind that you are talking about, not very good.

Yes, 'plain ol' sugar' will work the same as the 'raw sugar granules'.

If you give it a try let me know how it turns out!

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Are they large?  dark?  wet, dry?  Is "raw" cane sugar?  Excuse my curiosity, there are just so many kinds of sugar out there and i'm looking for a good substitute.  Is it a caramel flavor we are after?   Mini Oven

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

I am speaking about the 'raw' sugar that is a light brown, they are slightly larger in shape than the regular white sugar crystals. i think that this sugar taste pretty much the same as the white sugar, I just prefer not to have any added chemicals in my food when I can help it.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Adding fresh veggies helps cornbread to stay moist. I almost always add fresh or frozen corn to mine. If I want spicy (my favorite) I cut up fresh habanero and a cowhorn pepper. The yellow, orange and red bits are so pretty and quite hot!


For sweet, the sweet corn alone will give all the flavor you need and I like to use brown sugar but I bet that the raw sugar gives similar taste.


My dad is from the south and I spent 11 years in OK, in the army we ate a lot of cornbread!!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Tigrassbakes,

This does have a nice moist look to it. Does the corn dry out during cooking? We are just starting to get Florida corn shipped in and it looks good. Did you blanch the corn prior to freezing or just cut it off and freeze?

Eric

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

No the corn does not dry out during baking. With this corn, it was actually directly from a local farm last summer. It was so good I bought a bunch and literally just took the husks off of them and then left them on the cob and bagged about 5 or 6 cobs to a zip lock bag and threw them in the freezer. Did not blanch them or anything before I froze them.

Then for this corn bread I just took them out and let them thaw and then just sliced the kernals right off the cob and added them to the dry ingrediants.

I am glad that the photo portrayed the moistness of this cornbread because the texture, in addition to the flavor is what really makes this one a stand-out for me.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Sweet cornbread is a favorite with my kids but honestly I don't care for it if it won't stay together while I'm trying to eat it. To often it crumbles apart. This recipe isn't really the classic cornbread but it does look like it will stay together.

I'm going to give it a try this week with barbecue day. Thanks for posting this.

Eric

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

Let me know how it comes out. I definitely did not have problems with it staying together while eating it. What I did have problems with was stopping eating it! :-)

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

is the Southern veggie-dinner to go with it! That is beautiful. To me, there's almost nothing more perfect than a piece of buttery cornbread made in Dad's old cast iron frying pan accompanied by neckbones and greens, okra and tomatoes, yellow squash/onions and butter and macaroni and cheese. LOL. You know, your basic diet food. :D

 Thanks for sharing it!

Susan's picture
Susan

Any of you folks have a family recipe for spoonbread you'd like to share?  
Susan

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

basic diet food it is!

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I seem to have this love affair with anything related to corn.  I love it all and polenta one of my faves.  Your cornbread looks absolutely delicious! 

I wonder how that recipe compares to Reinhart's BBA recipe.  I have drooled over those photos and vowed to make it - just have not done it yet.  I usually have quite a lot of will power but cornbread is just one of those major comfort foods and I would give about anything to have a big pile of it to dive into right about now.  Ok, I'd wait until a decent time later on today but still I'd like a vat of the stuff!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

is very similar..it starts with a polenta soaker and has a combo of sugars, white, brown and honey. Basically the same otherwise. He does have bacon in the recipe, but I'm not a fan of it. We had it at Easter and everyone loved it. It was very moist, not crumbly. I don't think you can go wrong with either version.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Bacon? I have to try that. His recipe sounds so good. I asked for his BBA and the Whole Grains book from Santa this year!

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Your cornbread recipe has been in the oven for 30 minutes so far, the color is lovely, and the house smells awesome.  My wife and eldest girl just perked up in the living room and was like "Whats that?????"  Soon as I said cornbread, my wife goes "Yeah, is it the one form the internet?"  I thought I'd let you know my people are already excited and it isnt even out of the oven yet....

I'll post later with taste results and maybe a photo.

Thanks again,

Tattooed Tonka

 

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

Hey Zolablue, I am exactly the same when it comes to anything corn. I love it all. I knew that Reinhart said in the BBA that he expanded on his cornbread recipe from Brother Juniper's but that recipe didn't interest me because it has bacon on it and I don't eat meat. And now Paddyscake has mentioned that he had a Polenta soaker. To me one of the really great things about the recipe I baked is that the unsoaked Polenta adds a little crunch in each bite. YUM!

 

Tattoedtonka - what is the verdict??

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I'm going to have to make both recipes!  And I'm sure I will.  I love the crunch of polenta too which, btw, is wonderful in Reinhart's Anadama bread if you haven't tried it yet.  It is really good bread.  Interestingly, in his BBA cornbread recipe it sounds like he would even prefer crispy chicken skin over the bacon.  Now that has gotta be some rich cornbread.  Unlike you, I do eat meat so I will try it all.  I did print this recipe and am going to make it soon.   It is making me hungry for a polenta-layered, cooked sausage in marinara with smoked mozzarella recipe I make of Mario Batali's.  Polenta rules!!!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

You will not be disappointed with Anadama or BBA cornbread, both have soakers and a wonderful crunch.

Tigressbakes..I dont eat bacon either..I just left it out, it was awesome!

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

Let me know how the cornbread turns out!

i will try the Anadama Bread - I have been curious about that recipe. 

 

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

The cornbread was very good, just as you said, very moist.  I made a newbie type of mistake though.  I did the whole tookpick in the middle part, and thought it was good, so I pulled it out.  After sitting abit I cut into it to find the core still wet, kind of like a big twinkie.  Everything on perimeter done but not the core.

So back in the oven for another 15, and it came out superb.  I took half of it (it did make quite a bit) to work this morning to share with the guys.

Thank you again for your recipe and help.

TT

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Wow what a great flavor. I see what you mean about being careful. Everyone had 3 pieces an a couple are thinking of a take home. I didn't get quite the Carmel color you did on the top crust. It took a little longer than I planned on in the oven also. It was 70 minutes at 350f and then a lighter color top. It was done through, I didn't want to dry it out. I won't post a picture since yours is so beautiful!

This is definitely a winner. I had to drive 20 miles to find the Polenta (uncooked) so I bought extra for another batch :>)

Thanks TB,

Eric

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

i am very glad that you and yours enjoyed the cornbread!

I also found that it took a while to bake it through, my 40 minutes was longer than what Reinhart called for in the book also.

This is DEFINITELY one in my make again file, - even though I am very new to bread baking of the yeasted and sourdough variety, I have actually baked quite a few different types of cornbread over the years, and this one feels like one I have been trying to get to.

Again, so glad that you enjoyed it. And yes Eric - I was completely serious when I said 'watch out'! Really I am glad that I gave half of it away because I would have really been in trouble! ...hmm, now I am thinking I should have kept just a little more of it!

 

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I finally baked your cornbread recipe last week.  YUM, was it ever good!  I used frozen corn but had a mixture of both sweet white and golden so it was really pretty like yours above.  I made a wonderful stew using dried cannellini beans, chicken stock, veggies, fresh herbs and some beautiful ham.  We poured the stew over hunks of steaming hot-from-the-oven cornbread and OMG!  Then the next day I had to try some reheated with a bit of butter and range wildflower honey and another piece for a different meal with citrus blossom honey.  YUM, is all I can say.  And that little crunch from the polenta is great.  Thanks for the recipe.