Friday 27 August 2010

Buttery Golden Northern Cornbread

Thicker, lighter and a little sweeter than its traditional Southern counterpart (where adding flour and sugar is considered blasphemous), this super easy Northern cornbread recipe produces a moist and hearty accompaniment to American soul food classics like barbecued meat, chilli con carne, hot soups and jambalaya.

If your preference is for the richer Southern version, use all cornmeal instead of flour and bake in a well-greased cast iron skillet- only bacon fat will do if you want to be REALLY authentic. For a deeper flavour try toasting the cornmeal before using or sprinkling cornmeal on the pan for a crunchier crust.

Buttery Golden Northern Cornbread
Makes one 12" x 9" pan

Combine all in a large bowl:
100g butter, melted then cooled
2 eggs, beaten
480ml milk

Fold in:
375g plain flour
225g finely ground cornmeal/polenta
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
100g sugar (or for a bit of variety try some honey or maple syrup)

Stir in a small tin of sweetcorn kernels or whatever else you want- jalapeno peppers, chillies, onions, cheese, fried bacon bits, some coarse cornmeal for texture, sage, roasted tomatoes...

Grease the pan with butter (or line with baking paper if you prefer) and pour the batter in. Bake for 20 mins at 200 C (180C fan-assisted) or until golden and springy.

Allow to cool a bit before cutting. If having with a barbecue, pop briefly on the grill and toast each side until browned before eating. Serve warm with slatherings of extra butter.

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