I've had some back luck with my cornbread lately. The last three times I made it, it came out just so-so. One of the times I forgot to add baking powder and figured it out only after I removed the dense brick from the oven.
See, the thing is I don't have a standing cornbread recipe since there's usually one included on the side of the cornmeal box that I buy. This time round though, the recipes were for hushpuppies (yum! but fried=sad!) and for Jalapeno Cheddar cornbread. I'm sure both recipes are delicious but we try to stay away from fried foods if we can help it and I don't think m would be a huge fan of the jalapeno cheddar cornbread (being that he's not terribly fond of peppers). So I figured I could fudge the recipe and omit the chiles and the cheese and figure out how to make a decent cornbread from the given recipes.
So today I looked up cornbread recipes on my favorite recipe sites and found a myriad of suggestions. But they all seem to ask for buttermilk (who keeps buttermilk as a staple in their pantry?) or lard (blah?!?) or 2 sticks of butter (double blah!?!!) and none of them really spoke to me. What's a girl to do for a simple basic cornbread recipe without all the frou-frou add-ins? And what happened to the basic recipe that used to come on the box of the cornmeal I buy?
That's when it hit me that I've been buying a different brand of cornmeal. I used to buy Albers because I was so smitten with their bold graphic design (It's true. I buy things because I think they are cute). The strong contrast of the orange+blue, that retro-esque image of the corn. I love it! In fact, after I finished the last box of Albers corn meal, I saved the empty box and left it on an unused shelf above my stove with a few other retro-esque empty containers of food that I thought had great graphic design. Now I buy some organic cornmeal and that's why the recipe's not coming out the way I remember it doing. Because I'm using the wrong recipe! Duh!
Tsk, tsk. And here I'd been blaming the bland cornbread on my lack of cooking mojo. Tsk, tsk.
I'm going to include the Albers recipe (originally found here) for future reference. I am quite fond of recording for the sake of posterity (and, um, you know, to save myself from future idiocy).
Albers Corn Bread
This moist corn bread can be served with salads, soups, stews, chilies, or southern fried chicken. Try it toasted and spread with butter and jam in the morning.
- 1 cup Albers® White or Yellow Corn Meal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.
COMBINE meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.
BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.
NOTE Recipe may be doubled. Use greased 13x9-inch baking pan; bake as above.
SPOON batter into 10 to 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 15 minutes.