Tag Archives: cornbread

A sweet gift

Sweet Rosemary Cornbread 1

I know! I know. I’ve been gone.

It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. On the contrary, I’ve been cooking like a maniac. I’m working on a recipe development project for a corporate client, which means most workdays, three or four recipes come streaming out of my pen. So I’ve been cooking – that is, when I’m not planning, shopping, researching, or typing. There’s a little army of Tupperware containers marching out my front door every day, headed to neighbors and friends, because we simply cannot eat the volume I’ve been producing.

I’ve loved it, except for three things: First, the culinary brainstorming involved has left me spent in the ideas department. When we have room for a meal I don’t have to write about, I’ve been gravitating toward the simplest things. Lettuce from the back yard with oil and vinegar. Grilled asparagus. Cereal for breakfast. Cereal for dinner.

I also don’t like how when you sell a recipe to someone, you don’t always get to sell the exact recipe you wanted to create. (I once heard something about the customer always being right . . .)

The project, unfortunately, also does not involve much baking. I thought this was a good thing, when I took it on, but I didn’t account for 55 degrees and raining on the first morning in July.

This morning, I addressed all three, with a simple, unique-to-me, warming cornbread recipe that hits the dessert key without being overly sweet. I’ll bring one loaf as a gift this weekend, when we camp at a friend’s cabin in the mountains, and we’ll eat the other for breakfast in our tent, smeared with jam and probably a little dirt, when Graham gets up at 5 a.m.

Happy 4th.

Sweet Rosemary Cornbread 2

Sweet Rosemary Cornbread (PDF)

If you’re giving the bread as a gift, or just want it to look extra adorable, pop a sprig of fresh rosemary onto the batter before the bread goes into the oven. Then hurry it to the lucky recipient while it’s still warm, with good butter and a jar of creamed honey.

TIME: 10 minutes active time
MAKES: 2 (8” by 4”) loaves

Vegetable oil spray or butter, for greasing pans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two (8” by 4”) loaf pans, and set aside.

Whisk the dry ingredients to blend in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a different bowl, then add to the dry ingredients, and stir until no dry spots remain.

Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans, smooth with a spatula, and bake until brown at the edges and just cracking in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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Filed under bread, Cakes, dessert, recipe

Cornbread for Kristen

WG cornbread

A quick one for you:

My friend Kristen wrote me the other day with a very specific question. She wants to up the wholegrainness (her word, not mine, but I love it) of her usual Thanksgiving cornmeal stuffing, which she makes with sausage, pecans, leeks, and cranberries. (I know. I want the recipe, too.) But she didn’t want to just add bulgur or millet to the mix, lest the little pellets fall right to the bottom of the pan. No one wants stuffing baked on a layer of birdseed, right? She thought a whole grain cornbread – one made with whole wheat flour, of course, and the grains she’s been trying to squeeze into her diet baked right into the batter – would fit the bill. She just wasn’t sure how to go about it.

I wrote her about my standard rules: I freely substitute up to half the all-purpose flour in almost any recipe with whole wheat flour without blinking. If I want to add crunch, I add a tablespoon or two of millet or quinoa without changing anything else, or for more than just a touch of grain, I replace some of the whole wheat flour with the grain. . . But I couldn’t honestly tell her that there’s a ratio I always depend on. So chili climbed up a rung on our dinner menu – a deeply flavorful, spicy, vegetized version with mushrooms, roasted green chilies, and red bell peppers – and out came the cornbread pan.

The bread isn’t quite so muffiny as these cornbread muffins, what without the sour cream and all, which makes it just about right for mopping up the bottom of a bowl of chili the night before Thanksgiving.

whole grain cornbread top

Kristen’s Whole Grain Cornbread (PDF)

Here’s a recipe for the whole grain-crazy among you, based on my go-to for regular sweet cornbread muffins, the ones found on the side of the Albers yellow corn meal box. (I use a bit less sugar.) Serve the bread while it’s still warm, with a nice, hot bowl of chili, or let the bread cool completely, cut it into cubes, and toast it for you favorite cornbread stuffing.

TIME: 20 minutes active time
MAKES: 8 servings

Vegetable oil spray
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons quinoa
2 tablespoons millet
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8” square pan with the vegetable oil spray (or butter) and set aside.

Stir the dry ingredients (through salt) together in a mixing bowl. Crack the eggs into another big bowl, whisk to blend, then whisk in the milk, vegetable oil, and butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan, and bake for 35 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

WG Cornbread with butter

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Filed under bread, recipe, side dish