Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I'm sure the cornbread purists would argue that this is not traditional cornbread, and I would have to humbly agree, although it is indeed bready and corn is the main ingredient (in a form). So where do I stray? I use polenta, it's easier for me to get my hands on than corn meal intended for cornbread use, and I skip the sugar, most recipes I have read have about 1/4 of a cup of it, but that's just not my taste.
Cornbread has become a firm favourite to serve with a hot bowl of chilli, and it's a pleasant change from rice, tacos, tortillas, or nachos. On top of that, the variations you can make are endless.
1 Cup of Flour
1 Cup of Polenta (or corn meal)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/3 Cup of Vegetable oil (or other fat)
1 Cup Butter milk
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease/line a loaf tin or lasagne type dish and set aside.
In a bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients and other additions (see below). Pour the wet in to the dry bowl and stir until incorporated, do this quickly as the butter milk will react with the baking soda and begin releasing its carbon dioxide. As soon as it has mixed pour it into the baking dish and place it on the middle rack of the oven, cook for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when pierced.
The great thing about cornbread is how customisable it is, the above has had its oil replaced with 50/50 olive oil and melted butter (unsalted), as well as chopped scallions (sounds so much more fun than spring onion) and corn kernels incorporated in the dough with a sprinkle of cheese over it.
And this loaf has had the oil replaced with beurre noisette (brown butter (unsalted)) and incorporated with the dough finely diced parsley, scallions, a touch of smoked paprika and obligatory (well I think so anyway) sprinkle of cheese.
Slices of the moist bread are great for scooping up the sauce of a hot chilli, we had it with a very spicy beef chilli.