I’m still behind in my Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, but I’m working my way up. With Weight Watchers, I’m actually skipping the dessert type breads just to make sure they’re not around the house.
I was a bit surprised to see a quick bread in the book. There’s no yeast in cornbread, just a bit of baking powder and baking soda, but it does fit into the “artisan” category, I think, just in that it’s got to be the best cornbread I’ve ever had.
The bread takes 2 days to make, but it’s really simple. The night before making it, a cup of cornmeal/polenta is mixed with 2 cups of buttermilk and set out overnight. That takes all of about 2 minutes, and I used cornmeal that was ground right in front of me, from local corn.
With summer in full swing here in Ohio, sweet corn is easy to get at any local farmers market, so I picked up a few ears of white corn. The recipe allows for canned corn, but Ohio sweet corn is just great stuff!
The recipe also calls for bacon, which I baked at 400 degrees, turning ever 4 minutes, until it was crispy.
The recipe combines white and brown sugar, flour, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, a bit of salt, and the mixture from the night before. I also added a large jalapeno from our garden. Reinhart calls for using a cake pan, but I don’t think anything but cast iron really works for cornbread. A couple tablespoons of the bacon fat are used to coat the cake pan/cast iron skillet.
Here’s a confession… I made this last Friday the first time, and I was in a bit of a hurry. Somehow I forgot to add in the buttermilk and cornmeal! The funny thing was, it was still a great cornbread, with the whole kernel sweet corn in it, and the bacon, of course.
So I made it again on Sunday, and this time made a double batch, adding cheese to the top of one of the skillets. And, of course, all of it was baked on the Big Green Egg, which did a great job, adding just that touch of smoke.
This is my go to cornbread from this point on… Great stuff!