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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Recipe File: Corn Bread (revisited)

A week and a half ago, I tried out the corn bread recipe from the back of the Albers Corn Meal box. I remade the recipe recently increasing the sugar from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. I also substituted the Albers cornmeal with local organic corn meal. Since I tossed the remaining oil in the bottle of canola oil that I used last time, I also used newly opened canola oil in this recipe. The results were much better, but the corn meal was too coarse for my taste (I keep getting corn bits stuck in my teeth). The flavor was pretty good, not too sweet, but enough sugar for my sweet tooth. Sugar quantity will have to be something adjusted for individual taste.

Here's the new recipe summary (complete with metric conversions):
Modified Albers Corn Bread (serves nine)
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
1 cup (160 g) yellow corn mealcombinestirbake 400°F (200°C) 20 min.
1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1 Tbs. (14 g) baking powder
1 tsp. (6 g) salt
1 cup (240 mL) whole milkwhisk
1/3 cup (80 mL) vegetable oil
1 large egg
Copyright Michael Chu 2004

posted by Michael Chu @ 10/06/2004 05:30:21 PM   30 comments
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At 6:08 PM, Glutnix said...

You forgot one vital Metric Conversion... degrees F to degrees C

I might just try this recipe this weekend :)

At 9:46 PM, Chris said...

For future reference -

Farenheit to Celcius:
(Farenheit - 32) * 5/9 = Celcius

Celcius to Farenheit:
(Celcius * 9/5) + 32 = Farenheit

where the * is the symbol for multiplication.

At 9:58 PM, Anonymous said...

One suggestion for the coarse gritty corn meal is to soak the corn meal in the milk at least an hour before baking. Mix milk and cornmeal, let sit on the counter an hour, them add the remaining ingrediants and bake as normal.

At 11:49 PM, Alredhead said...

Who is the person(s) that is posting anonymously? Are they a chef or a know-it-all?

At 2:23 AM, Anonymous said...

Just some one who's not interested in extending the Blogger hegemony by subscribing to an account.

At 7:29 AM, Joe said...

Blogger hegemony?

What about MovableType/TypePad?

At 7:47 AM, rolandog said...

LOL, it'd be so, um... professional, if you'd referr to the Temperatures in Rankine and Kelvin

I made a small Excel doc that converts temperatures by specifying a numeric temperature, and a unit from a droplist.
The file can be downloaded from hereI used the same function in a document I made earlier where I wanted to find an enthalpy value from a table, so interpolation and other stuff was key in that doc, and had to be made in specific units.

I can design a complete document if you'd like to include conversions for each kind of unit (mass, distance, etc.)

At 9:04 AM, Doug said...

Or just use Google. Search for "3.5tsp to ml" and you'll get "2 US cups = 473.176475 ml"

Try it!It works for most unit conversions.

At 12:24 PM, Jack Friesner said...

I make cornbread using a puree of canned corn mixed with half and half to replace the liquid portion. To me, it adds sweetness and a more "corny" flavor to the cornbread.

In regards to conversions... I like to go to to get all my unit conversion needs...

At 1:09 PM, shed said...

yo home dog that some serious cookiin yo

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous said...

yo home dog that some serious cookiin yo

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous said...

Free iPods!

At 6:00 PM, Magicfingers said...

By no means do I claim to be a great cook or engineer, but I have a question about sweet cornbread. I was raised in the south and we never sweetened our cornbread (which we ate every day). I was introduced to this practice when I moved to California. Which is more popular? Sweet or unsweetened? Have you ever made mexican cornbread?

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous said...

Oddly enough... I grew up in the South as well (Alabama) and now live in California. We always had sweet cornbread growing up, and now I'm stuck with horrible, crumbly arid substitues here in California.

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous said...

My mom always uses the old Albers Corn Meal recipe, before they changed it. I don't remember it exactly, but instead of oil, it used butter or shortening that you cut in to the corn meal with a pastry cutter prior to adding the other ingredients. I never remember it being gritty. I can post/email it if anyone wants.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous said...

I just posted my favorite corn bread recipe:

At 6:21 AM, su2u said...

and remember homes, true cornbread should always be made in a cast iron skillet well greased!

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous said...

Grew up in the South. No sugar. Use white corn meal, baking powder, and maybe soda, buttermilk (preferred) or milk and egges. Need to pre-heat the shortening or oil in your cast iron skillet at 450 degrees F. When skillet is hot, pour into other mixed ingredients, stir and pour back into skillet. Cook about 20 minutes until down. Has a "crust". Eat with turnip greens and black eyed peas. Ummmm.

Your recipe is similar to what we would use for corn muffins.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous said...

Albers has more than one cornbread recipe... the one on your box was the more traditional, less sweet version... The BEST version can be found here:

More sugar, more calories but that's what makes it GOOD!


At 9:42 AM, Anonymous said...

i grew up in the south too, TN and still there.. the best corn bread here is made with corn meal, 1 egg, cup of sweet milk, about 1 tbsp of flour, and bacon grease and salt. heat your bacon grease in skillet in oven pour a little of it in your mixture and stir, then pour all in skillet and bake until brown at 450. now thats cornbread!!

At 7:33 AM, lori h said...

Did you try adding a little honey? It not only makes the flavor more interesting, but also (I think) blends the cornmeal, softening the "grit", and making the bread/muffins more moist.

And...there's no equal to cast iron anything (wish I had more), but another good cornbread pan is a dutch oven (esp. when used to cook at a campfire).

At 4:56 PM, Andy said...

I'll preface this by saying I love the site and I check it often for ideas and because I love what you do. Keep up the good work.

While I am sure your recipe tastes good, I think that it would be more appropiate for corn muffins than corn bread.

I got my recipe from my "adopted" mother in Eastern Ky. Her cornbread is my favorite. Unfortunately, her measurements are not as accurate as what are typically posted on your site. I don't know where the idea of sweet cornbread came from, but imagine that it did not emerge from the working class families of eastern ky or the south in general. To make this unsweetened cornbread, I reccomend the following:

heat oven to 450 def F.

heat enough lard in a cast iron skillet to cover the bottom of the pan when melted with a thin layer of oil about 1/16" - 1/8" thick. Get skillet hot over medium heat while prepping the rest.

3 parts cornmeal (white, never yellow)
1 part self-rising flour

mix the dry ingredients then add milk until all the dry ingredients are no longer dry and a paste has formed. Add a little cold water and stir to loosen up the paste a little. pour/scrape the mixture into the hot skillet (be careful of the hot oil). Immediately put the pan in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top has golden brown color and a knife can be inserted and removed clean.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous said...

There are a variety if consistencies of corn meal try using a finer ground corn meal for less grit.

Also, have you tried using corn flour instead of corn meal? That would make it very smooth instead of gritty.

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous said...

Try leaving out most of the sugar and adding about 125 grams of finely grated parmesan cheese. It worked for me, I found the original recipe simply gave me a slightly gritty cake :-(

At 8:37 AM, LetterJ said...

You can pulse the cornmeal a few times in a blender to tone down the whole grain "crunch" a bit. I also use unsalted butter instead of oil for the fat. Buttermilk as the liquid also adds a bit of flavor that can't really be pinpointed in the end. You just taste a bit of difference and complexity. You should add some baking soda to balance out the acidity of the buttermilk.

The cast iron skillet makes for a nice brown crust on it, giving an outside crunch to contrast the inner moisture.

I heat the skillet up on the stovetop a bit, butter it, continue to heat it until the butter hits the smokepoint and then pour the batter in before throwing the whole thing in the oven.

I never pay too much attention to the time, because I usually cook by temp or appearance. I do a toothpick check just as the top starts to brown and it's usually just right.

For these "basic" foods, there's often close cultural or family ties to how it should be prepared and recipes and methods vary greatly. I generally refrain from criticizing anyone's version as right/wrong because there's a pretty good chance that some other food I make is "wrong" to someone.

To me, the goal is to understand what's going on with the ingredients and methods to go into the kitchen and end up with what you like on the plate, whether it matches anyone else's idea of appropriate or not.

For instance, where I come from, we eat more walleye than just about anyone and I grew up with tater sauce being heresy on walleye. The "proper" way to prepare is to batter fry and adorn with strawberry jam.

At 7:47 PM, Anonymous said...

I tried a slightly modified version of this recipe the other night, and it was a big hit. It really turned out great! I substituted 1/3 cup of melted, unsalted butter for the 1/3 cup of oil. As suggested by someone earlier, I also soaked the corn meal in the milk for one hour beforehand. It came out a little bit sweet (which I like), and absolutely no grittiness at all.

At 10:25 AM, great-grandma said...

my cornbrean always turns out crumbly. we had cornbread at Famous Dave's restaurant and it was moist and solid. Does anyone have their recipe? (I, like you add extra sugar)

At 9:26 AM, youarewhatyoueat said...

...substituting plain yogurt for all or part of the liquid is a long time family favorite variation here in the florida keys---as deep south as it gets-geographically speaking.

'soaking' meal in the yogurt also works to reduce the grittiness, although this is part of why we choose to use coarse meal.

At 5:53 AM, Anonymous said...

Here's an easy one for corbread:

Coat a cast-iron skillet with Crisco (about 1 tablespoon should do)

Put skillet in oven and crank it up to 450-degF. When the temperature is reached you will remove the skillet briefly.

Mix the following:

1 cup self-rising corn meal
1 egg
3/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

After mixing, remove the skillet and pour excess grease into mix. Place empty skillet back in the oven for 5 minutes to reheat skillet.

Remove skillet, and pour the mix into it. It should sizzle!!! That's the trick to getting stick-free cornbread.

Put the mix back in the 450degF oven for 20 minutes or until brown.

Remove and let it sit for two to three minutes before cutting into pie slices.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous said...

Famoud Dave's cornbread recipe is rather easy to find hun! Here ya go!


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