Friday, January 27, 2012

Delicious Cornbread

Today I made cornbread.  Paula Deen inspired me via an old episode that played on an obscure country music channel.  About a year and a half ago, I made the most delectable cornbread that anyone of my friends and family had ever tasted.  I brought it to the Fourth of July party we were going to.  I just practiced over three days and perfected it.  It was salty and sweet; moist yet light.  Just the right amount of cheese and some delightful corn niblets.  And it was gluten-free!  I made two batches of it, and because there was bacon fat in the batter, my friend's dog ate both of them at the party.  Then, like an idiot, I did not write it down.  I thought to myself, "I will definitely have no trouble remembering what I did.  I'm that good."  Pride comes before destruction, indeed.  I have not been able to reproduce that bread quite as well since.  Every time it's either too dry or under-seasoned, or not enough batter or who the heck knows what.

Until today.  And today I made the closest version yet--though not quite perfect.  It had moisture, texture, sweetness, and saltiness. It was light but not crumbly.  Maybe soon I will get it to Forth of July deliciousness...

2 cups cornmeal
1.5 cups whole wheat flour (or oat flour for gluten-free)
1 cup plum jam (or some other type of jam)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup creme fraiche (you can use sour cream)
1/2 cup lassi  or yogurt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 Tablespoons bacon fat or butter, divided
1 cup milk (roughly... depends on your weather)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt

Soak cornmeal in creme fraiche, lassi, and cream for 10 minutes.  Mixture should resemble play-doh
Heat 2 tablespoons of fat or butter in a cast iron pan.  Heat oven to 350.
mix salt, flour, cheese, and baking soda in a separate bowl.  Add to cornmeal mixture
Add remaining fat, cheese, jam, and sugar and mix.
Add enough milk to allow mix to be wet but not runny.  It should resemble thick pancake batter.
Pour into heated greased cast iron pan and bake 25-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

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