Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Studded Golden Cornbread #BreadBakers

A little comfort food is in order these days! This cornbread uses honey to sweeten and is packed with frozen corn kernels, staying moist (sorry) thanks to yogurt and heavy cream. The result is a perfectly balanced side for any meal!

I have been making cornbread for what seems like forever. As a kid, my Home Economics teacher used to make cornbread muffins with us that were almost crunchy with the amount of oil they had. Trips to the southern States introduced me to johnnycakes and skillet cornbread, which I devoured with honey and butter. But up in Canada where I live, cornbread is essentially cake or muffin like. My mom has had this recipe for decades, hand-written on a card from an old coworker complete with commentary (including strike-outs with notes like "this is BS, do this instead") and it was always a special-occasion bake due to the indulgent ingredients it called for. When I inherited the recipe, I tweaked it a little bit to use what we usually have in the house - whole wheat and Kamut flour (because, let's face it, I have a huge pantry of random flours I need to get baking with), flaxseed to replace the eggs (which I rarely have at home) and vanilla-flavoured Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream and sugar. The bread is still plenty sweet with a heady dose of honey, and it does not lack in tenderness and moisture thanks to a whole cup of heavy cream. While the recipe was originally for a square pan, I have 100% made it into muffins (jumbo sized ones are so good!) and froze them for later.

While it has been a good while since I made this cornbread, writing about it still fills me with a little bit of sadness. You see, I broke out this cornbread recipe not just for #breadbakers, but because it was going to be N's breakfast the day of our vacation. Due to the pandemic, we obviously had to put those plans on hold, but I still decided to boost the sunshine of our lives with a batch of the bright yellow quickbread. Lo and behold, N fell in love with it (and honestly, why wouldn't he - it's delicious) and I've made it several times since then. He has asked me to emphasize that adding the corn kernels is not optional - they add a perfect "pop" to the bread and those on the top get nice and toasty.

While I may not be jetting off to paradise, this bread will be made again. And again. It's an heirloom for a reason, and as with most things it develops and modifies over time with each new baker. Who knows, the next time this happens in the kitchen it may be with my blue cornmeal, since I'm out of yellow and it seems to still be missing on the shelf!

Here are the #BreadBakers of the week, bringing you breads with corn:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Studded Golden Cornbread
Makes ~16 pieces
1/4 cup honey
¾ cup Greek-style vanilla yogurt (or plain Greek-style yogurt + 1 tsp vanilla + 2 tbsp sugar)
1 cup heavy cream, warmed until steaming
2 cups whole wheat (or Kamut) flour
1 cup fine cornmeal
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 ½ cups cooked corn kernels (if using frozen, do not thaw)
  1. Heat the oven to 350F and grease a deep 9" pan (my square pan is deep enough but if yours is shallow you can make extra batter into muffins).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the honey, yogurt and cream until well blended.
  3. Add the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda and flaxseed, stirring to just combine
  4. Fold in the corn kernels.
  5. Scrape into the pan and rap on the counter to settle the batter.
  6. Bake 35-45 minutes (27-30 mins for muffins), until the bread is firm in the centre and tests with a few moist crumbs. 
  7. Cool at least 15 minutes before enjoying!
Don't forget, you can double this to make a 9x13" pan, bake it for about 45-50 minutes or until firm

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