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Test Recipes: Albers Corn Bread
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:23 pm    Post subject: Test Recipes: Albers Corn Bread Reply with quote


Article Digest:
Recently, in the Forum JediLow asked for a cornbread recipe. So I thought I'd see how the Albers back of the box recipe does. In my experience, some of the back of the box recipes are horrible and some are excellent (Nestle Tollhouse Cookies). So, here we go.

Supermarkets in my area carry a brand of cornbread called Albers.
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Here's the transcribed recipe from the back of this box of Albers Yellow Corn Meal.

Albers Cornbread
1 cup ALBERS Yellow Corn Meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. 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 corn 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 into center comes out clean. Serve warm.
NOTE: Recipe may be doubled. Use greased 13x9-inch baking pan; bake as above.

In the medium bowl, I placed the corn meal and flour. I measured out sugar, baking powder and salt as well. In the measuring cup, I poured whole milk and canola oil and broke a large egg into it.
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I poured the sugar, baking powder, and salt into the medium bowl and gave the dry ingredients a quick whisk.
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I whisked the liquids until they were smooth and poured it into the medium bowl over the dry ingredients.
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After whisking briefly, I poured the batter into a greased 8x8 inch pan.
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Into a 400°F oven it went and twenty minutes later I came back with a bamboo skewer. Plunging the skewer into the middle of the cornbread, I checked to see if anything stuck to the skewer as it came out. It came out clean, so the cornbread was done.
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Normally, I'd cut the cornbread into nine pieces of 2-2/3 in. squares, but neither Tina nor I were hungry, so I cut it into sixteen pieces.

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So, how did it taste? Tina and I both agreed that there was not enough sugar and for some reason there was a slight sour taste. I can't figure out what could have caused the sourness unless my canola oil had gone bad (I'm sure I would have noticed since I smelled and examined it beforehand). The baking powder should chemically counteract itself (in terms of acid and base reactions) and the milk was definitely not sour (since I had a glass with dinner).

In addition, I found the texture more gritty than what I like in a cornbread (I hate to admit it, but the cornbread I like is from Boston Market), but Tina felt the texture was about right and what she expected.

I'm going to have to test this recipe at least once more to see if the sour flavor persists.

Albers Corn Bread (serves nine)
<td colspan=4 style="text-align:center">Preheat oven to 400°F
1 cup yellow corn mealcombinestirbake 400°F 20 min.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milkwhisk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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Hypatia
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cornbread is always better when cooked in a cast iron skillet (the bigger the skillet, the thinner/crispier the cornbread the better). It's done when it pulls away from the edges of the pan and is brown on top.
Grease the skillet before hand by swirling a bit of canola oil around in it. Great way to help bake in the seasoning on the skillet.

The grittiness depends on the cornmeal you buy (buy more finely ground and you might like it better).

The best cornbread recipie I know comes from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook (copyright 1968). 1 C sifted all-purpose flour; 1/4 C sugar; 4 tsp baking powder; 3/4 tsp salt; 1 C yellow cornmeal; 2 eggs; 1 C milk; 1 C shortening. Combine ingredients. Do not overmix. Bake at 425 F for 20-25 min.
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Alredhead
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good try. Maybe you'll come up with something you like more. The Better Homes & Gardens recipe is good, that's the one my grandmother made (a lot of the original recipes made it to later versions).

Alredhead
http://alredhead.blogspot.com
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Albers will do you in a pinch. But I wouldn't rely on it. Look around for some hippy natural food shop that moves a lot of bulk corn meal. You'll find great stuff there.
You bet the cast iron is the nicest. I usually preheat the sucker for a bit. Rub it with a slice of bacon.
I would substitute the shortening for real lard. I render my own on a regular basis. The light yet rich flavor in baking can't be reproduced with shortening. It gets used in meat pie crusts, greasing of the pancake griddle and curing of the cast iron. Even rendered duck fat doesn't have the same non-stick qualities. Although, duck fat is amazing in its own right. YUM. Especially for sauces ... oh man.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yes. I'm not a fan of adding the cheese, peppers and canned corn to my breads. But I have to say, fresh Thyme in corn bread is a wondeful thing.

Dr. B. / Meathenge
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dayment
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jiffy corn muffin mix with jalapenos and cheddar rules. It ain't exactly homemade, but I like it.
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Digital Dater
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has nothing to do with cornbread, but recipes on the back of the box. The Coffee cake on the back of a Splenda box has that coffee house, old diner feel.

Maybe it's one of those simpleton recipes.

Tell me this, is there an easy way to convert Splenda packets into the correct amount of regular sugar that should be used?

Someone outta' make a chart!

The best ingredient of cornbread is the final oozing globs of butter that soak through to the bottom.
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The Chunky Girl
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you'll find that there are many different opinions on what makes good cornbread. My Granny, who was raised on the Tennessee Kentucky border, always made cornbread with white corn meal and buttermilk in a cast iron skillet. She never used egg or sugar so the bread wasn't sweet and was snow white inside. She greased the pan with bacon drippings. Sometimes she'd add "cracklins" I don't know exactly what those are but I'm sure they are a pork product. My husbands family is from south Georgia has a comletely differen't recipe for cornbread. The only way it resembles my Granny's is in the absence of sugar. I'd love to see you try out a few different variations on this recipe and compare.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: Splenda

I think the Splenda guys say you should use equal amounts. 1 Tbs. Splenda = 1 Tbs. granulated sugar. I'll check on this.

re: Varieties of cornbread

I plan to try more versions, just as soon as we finish this batch. Smile

Michael
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Sreekesh Menon
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cooking for Engineers, good theme. was just introduced to your site by a friend. nice.
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Stephanie
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding Cornbread, try Alton's recipe...
I can dig it up if you can't find it. I also like my cornbread on the sweet side.

Regarding splenda: I think the packets are the equivalent in sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar. If you want to use Splenda for cooking, I recommend the bulk bag or the bulk box. That kind does measure like sugar (volumetrically, of course). You can only use it for things where the sugar is mixed in - it cannot be caramelized like normal sugar, and I don't think it reduces into a syrup the same way normal sugar does.
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Sara
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not an engineer, but I like to eat. The Jiffy corn muffin mix is excellent--you can do cornbread, and it's easy,fast, and friggin' cheap. One box is approx. $1.00 up here in Seattle.
About the Splenda--I was in a grocery store the other day buying basic baking ingredients, among them sugar. I almost walked out the door with a bag of Splenda instead of a bag of "regular" sugar. So you may not have to sit around opening tiny packets all day in order to get the amount you want--for recipes that call for copius amounts of sweetner, that is.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The white/yellow sweet/salty cornbread is a north/south divide. Yankees tend to like their cornbread thick, yellow, and slightly sweet. Southern cornbread tends to be white, thin, and salty.

My favorite recipe is the Jalapeņo Cheddar Cheese cornbread from Bernard Clayton's Complete book of Breads.

Gopi
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>The white/yellow sweet/salty cornbread is a north/south divide.
>Yankees tend to like their cornbread thick, yellow, and slightly
>sweet. Southern cornbread tends to be white, thin, and salty.

Really, I thought is was just the opposite. I grew up on savory cornbread in Michigan, and it wasn't until I was in Georgia that I realized sweet cornbread existed. That's where I also discovered pre-sweetened tea in restaurants.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, as a geeky history buff aside, I work in what is called the "Albers Mill Building" in downtown Portland, Oregon. The building used to be a wheat and corn mill; it's on the riverfront. It's been converted to dotcom offices.
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