Recipe for "To Die For" Cornbread
The other day, I realized I hadn't make cornbread for months, although my husband John and I love it. I had some really nice stoneground organic cornmeal on hand, and some slightly-sour plain Greek yogurt I needed to use up. Why not try it in the cornbread?
In my experience, homemade cornbread can be kind of dry. It’s lacking additives like gums and dough conditioners that are in commercial cornbread mixes. Happily, John is a really good sport about eating my less than yummy food experiments!
When you use a fermented product like yogurt in your quick breads/cakes, keep in mind that the yogurt will add acid to the recipe. So you counteract that extra acid with a little baking soda (an alkaline).
A lot of cornbread recipes call for 2 ½ teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of baking powder. I knew with using this much yogurt, I’d have to take a guess regarding reducing the baking powder and adding baking soda. Here’s what a came up with:
Cornbread—With Greek Yogurt
*1 cup stoneground cornmeal
*1 cup mixed organic unbleached white flour and whole wheat pastry flour
Combine the flours with:
*½ teaspoon salt
*1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
*½ teaspoon soda + another pinch
*1/3 cup organic cane sugar
In a separate bowl I mixed:
*1 egg (the one sitting out)
*1/3-ish cup olive oil
And here’s where I took a chance:
*I added 1 cup of the slightly sour, full-fat
Greek yogurt + a splash of whole milk
I mixed all the liquids, then put in the dry ingredients.
The batter wasn’t really batter at all, but dough! Meaning very dry and stiff. Clearly, the recipe needed more liquid.
*So a splashed in more whole milk. Still stiff.
*Then another generous splash.
Again, the dough was still pretty stiff. It seemed like the milk I’d added was the same amount I would have used even without the yogurt! I decided to just go with what I had.
I scraped the dough into an oiled 7” x 11” glass baking pan, smoothed it into the corners, and put it into the oven at 370 degrees—I usually bake cornbread at 350, but dinner was running really late.
After 25 minutes, it looked really done on top—but that was an unusually fast baking time. I was afraid the cornbread would be kind of wet in the middle.
I tested it, and happily, the cornbread was baked all the way through. I gave it a couple more minutes, then pulled the pan from the oven.
The cornbread was darker on top than I generally prefer—I think the cream in the yogurt makes baked goods brown more readily. But John, who likes well done baked goods, was enthusiastic.
After it cooled for 15 minutes or so, I cut us each a generous piece. Despite the well-browned top, even without butter this was the moistest, most delectable cornbread I’d ever made—crispy around the edges, but totally melt-in-your-mouth. Slathered with butter, it was divine!
If you're thinking of your holiday menu, this cornbread will work great in cornbread stuffing. In any event, from here on out, I’ll be using lots of yogurt in my quick breads!