Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cornbread Muffins and Apologies

When I think cornbread, I think of the southern U.S. as well as Southern Kitchen and childhood dinners from KFC.

I'll admit it, I'm vastly behind in my posting. I've got a camera absolutely full of delicious goodies from the oven that I've been slacking on sharing. Now, thanks to the oven being temporarily out of service, the feeling that I should stop procrastinating, and my memory card needing a break after a trip to Ho Chi Minh with a lot of baked baggage, updates will appear more frequently until I'm back on track and back in business.

Bob's Red Mill organic medium grind cornmeal.

Here's a quick baking project I did a couple weeks (ahem) ago. I felt like steamed corn on the cob and homemade chili deserved some good old fashioned cornbread on the side. This recipe comes from the back of the Bob's Red Mill organic medium grain cornmeal bag.

Dry ingredients.

Golden Cornbread Muffins
Adapted from Bob's Red Mill

Yields 6 muffins

1 C  ground cornmeal, any grind
1 C  whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp  salt
4 tsp  baking powder
1 T  sugar (optional, increase to 2-3 T if you like sweet cornbread)
1  egg
1 C  milk
1/4 C  unsalted butter, softened
shortening or extra butter for greasing tins

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C) and grease six muffin tins.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  3. Add all wet ingredients and fold together until just combined.
  4. Optional: Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight for a softer, smoother texture.
  5. Divide the batter between tins and bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Enjoy warm (and with a smear of softened salted butter if desired).
Golden Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread, fresh from the oven and ready to serve with some butter and a bowl of chili.

Two notes: sweetness and texture.

For those of you that like a sweet cornbread, definitely at least double the sugar; I find that a scant tablespoon of it just tempers the slight bitterness of plain whole wheat flour. You could also give them a quick sprinkle of coarse sugar on top before baking.

The recipe says nothing about letting the batter sit, but if you are using medium to coarse grind cornmeal and would like a cornbread that's not grainy, let it have a rest in the fridge. I borrowed the "3 hours to overnight" solution from the Smitten Kitchen pecan cornmeal butter cake recipe.

Though I have yet to let cornbread batter sit, increase the sugar content, or even try the aforementioned cake recipe, I think it's all worthwhile advice based on sampling the cornbread as written and Smitten Kitchen's reputation as being pretty great.

Come back soon for more posts on delicious things like molten chocolate cake, dark rye bread, cowboy cookies, crepe cake, and more.

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