Where Have You Been Hiding This?

This question is for all my American friends and especially those in the South: where have you been hiding cornbread all these years?

The first time I tried cornbread – many years ago – it was dry, gritty, and rather tasteless. But in my recent quest for yeast-free bread I decided to give it another go. I used the same recipe as before except in place of 1½ teaspoons of butter I used 1½ tablespoons. I also added some grated cheese. Following a tip I discovered online, I placed the pan for the cornbread with a small amount of oil in the oven at the same time that I preheated the oven. When the cornbread was mixed I took the pan out, brushed the oil around the pan, and added the batter, then popped it all back into the oven.

Now this might be elementary for all you lovely ladies who have been making cornbread for years, but this was totally new for me.

When the cornbread was cooked, I took it out, and tasted it. Mmmmmmm. It was neither dry, nor gritty, nor tasteless. It had a similar texture to the popular scones that we make down here but unlike scones which need to be served with jam and cream to sweeten them, the cornbread didn’t need anything else. And it stayed fresh for days.

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover it. I’ve already tried a pumpkin and cheese cornbread and I might try a chilli one sometime soon. It’s perfect for someone like me: quick, easy, yummy, and yeast-free.

I’ve found a new love! I just don’t understand why you’ve kept it hidden from all of us down under for so many years!

Would it be presumptuous of me to share my recipe? I posted originally without the recipe, but then I thought that someone might like to know how I make it, so here it is:

Preheat the over to 200 degrees Celsius. Place a small amount of oil in the pan for the cornbread and place in the oven while preheating.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 cup cornmeal, 3/4 cup plain flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

In a small saucepan place 1½ tablespoons butter and 1 cup skim milk and heat until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in one large egg.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just moistened. (I always find that I need an extra 1/4-1/2 cup cornmeal to bring to the right consistency.)

Remove the pan from the oven and coat with the warmed oil. Spoon the batter into the dish and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the top springs back when touched. Cut into squares and serve.

Comments

As a southerener, let me say that I'm gald you "discovered" cornbread. A couple of other tips:

Buttermilk makes for a really moist batter, and baking it in a butter greased cast iron skillet is the way most southerners bake it. Good stuff!
Sharon said…
Sorry, us southerners just take it for granted that everyone eats cornbread. Some other optional ingredients I like are: a little grated onion or chopped peppers(jalapenos or chilis), or whole kernel corn. Also, if you melt your butter in your baking pan in the oven while the oven is heating, this greases your pan and also you can skip the step of melting butter in saucepan(1 less dirty dish). Enjoy! - Sharon
BellaMama said…
Glad you like it. There are plenty here in the States that don't like cornbread, either, for the same reasons you didn't before! There are times I make it that it comes out more like a cake and the rest of the time it's pretty gritty and dry...I forget to check it sooner and it just cooks too long.

Don't think it's presumptuous to put up your recipe...how many dishes from other countries do we claim as our own because we like it and have figured out how to make it just right?!

Enjoy your cornbread. It goes well with chili, too! :)
SchnauzerMom said…
My mom was raised on beans and cornbread during the Great Depression. It's one of my favorite meals too. Thanks for the recipe, looks good.
Yummmmmm...this poat is making me hungry!!

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