1st Try at Cornbread
This is my 1st attempt at cornbread. I really like it. I made it on my own terms. I used more egg than the suggested number because I really like moist cornbread. I also only used ingredients I had on hand because I did not want to have to go to the grocery store. I made the cornbread from corn that is biodynamic from the Barefoot Farmer farm, and it was hand ground just last week. The eggs I used are from a small farm in Hohenwald, TN which employs organic and free range practices. The fat I used is bacon fat I have kept to make corny foods like fried corn, popcorn and cornbread. I have not churned my own butter lately, so I do not have butter milk on hand, so I used what I had on hand which was soy milk and yogurt.
In general, I don't eat a lot of cornbread because I find most recipes are dry and crumbly. Trying to put butter on crumble is a futile effort which I really dislike. I like moist cornbread which I can pick up with my fingers and not have it crumble to the floor. I like moist cornbread because it does not "need" more butter to moisten it up, but of course one can add more butter because it tastes good.
Here is the basic corn bread recipe I used as inspiration:
Preheat oven to 400F
2 cup butter milk
2 teaspoons baking power
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups corn meal
1/2 cup butter
1. In a bowl, combine wet ingredients well and set aside
2. In a cast iron pan, melt fat ingredients over medium heat
3. Add dry ingredient to the cast iron pan, stir for 2-3 minutes over medium heat
the corn meal will look like golden sand
4. Remove cast iron pan from the heat, stir in wet ingredients, combine well
5. Put cast iron pan in 400F oven for 25 minutes
1. I really like moist cornbread, so I used 4 eggs instead of 3.
2. I did not butter milk, so I used 1 cup soy milk and 1 cup yogurt. This liquid can be butter milk, all yogurt, cream, whole milk, almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, etc. I only had soy milk and yogurt in the house, and I like the very slight tartness the yogurt brings to the overall flavor. I can't tell that there is yogurt in the cornbread, rather the sourness from the yogurt is perceived by the sour receptors of the tongue, which activates more portions of the tongue to really get the full flavor of the corn bread.
3. I added spices including garlic, cayenne and ground black pepper. In the wet ingredients, I can see where one might want to add cheese, jalapenos, herbs, or other flavors one might want in corn bread.
4. For my fat ingredients, I used 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of bacon fat I have saved from recent bacon I cooked up. I just have not had time to make butter of late, so I don't have much butter in the house, so I had to bolster the little butter I had with the bacon fat. Other fats can be used, and in greater quantity if you want more moisture. I think that the fat used must be able to stand up to 400F, so peanut oil may be used. Butter and bacon (pork ) fat seems to be the best way to make this corn bread.
5. For a sweet cornbread, honey, sorghum, maple, or sugar can be added. I am also thinking that this can be made into a sweet pastry cake if enough sweetness is added, and 4 eggs are used.
6. This can be a gluten-free and dairy free cornbread cake if non-dairy liquid like coconut milk is used, and a non-dairy fat is used like peanut oil or pork fat.
I am so glad to make this cornbread. It opens up a whole new world for me and corny goodness!