Supermarkets in my area carry a brand of cornbread called Albers.
Here's the transcribed recipe from the back of this box of Albers Yellow Corn Meal.
Albers Cornbread1 cup ALBERS Yellow Corn Meal1 cup all-purpose flour1/4 cup granulated sugar1 Tbs. baking powder1 tsp. salt1 cup milk1/3 cup vegetable oil1 large egg, lightly beatenPREHEAT 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.
I poured the sugar, baking powder, and salt into the medium bowl and gave the dry ingredients a quick whisk.
I whisked the liquids until they were smooth and poured it into the medium bowl over the dry ingredients.
After whisking briefly, I poured the batter into a greased 8x8 inch pan.
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.
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.}?>
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)
|Preheat oven to 400°F|
|1 cup yellow corn meal||combine||stir||bake 400°F 20 min.|
|1 cup all-purpose flour|
|1/4 cup granulated sugar|
|1 Tbs. baking powder|
|1 tsp. salt|
|1 cup whole milk||whisk|
|1/3 cup vegetable oil|
|1 large egg|
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.
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.
Dr. B. / Meathenge
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
My favorite recipe is the Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese cornbread from Bernard Clayton's Complete book of Breads.
>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.
Jiffy is northern cornbread: thick, yellow, and sweet. It makes good muffins, but unless you have a real sweet tooth, it's not what you want to use to mop your plate at dinner. Other mixes are less sweet. One clue is the cornbread pictured on the package. If it's white, it's probably less sweet. If your grocery store has a section for black or southern cooking, you might try the cornbread there.
Cracklins (as in cracklin' bread) are the crispy bits left behind after you render down hog fat. They're hard to find these days. Try substituting the bits left in the pan after you fry bacon.
A couple of superior back-of-the-package recipes: Solo Almond Filling (canned, in the baking section; make sure you get the filling, not their almond paste) has a recipe for almond cake that makes people make involuntary happy noises when they taste it. For extra fun, bake it in a ring pan, split it horizontally, and fill and glaze it with hot apricot preserves or marmalade, then coat the top with sliced toasted almonds while the glaze is still hot.
Also: my mother and grandmother both swore the best recipe for canonical pumpkin pie was the one on the back of the Libby's Pumpkin can. After several decades of testing this proposition, I have to admit that I've never found one I like better. You want the straight pumpkin, not the kind that comes with sugar and spices already added.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
My version is the following:
3/4 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder -- Obs. NOT tablespoons!!
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
Mix sugar and beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and add to first mixture. Add cornmeal, melted butter, and milk. Beat enough to mix.
Bake in hot over (400 degrees F / 200 degrees C) about 30 minutes or until done.
Makes 1 panful which cuts into 21 squares.
I will try the Albers recipe one more time (probably tonight) and then try your recipe. It looks like a lot of sugar, but maybe that's why it tastes wonderful!
I don't know what Albers cornmeal is. I buy "Polenta" in the underground market here in Stockholm. It is not coarse enough for me, but it is all that is available.
Very innovative way of compacting the recipes. You are on to something. I think you can publish a cooking book with that recipe pattern and it will sell. because it's different. I would buy it. But it's got to have color. Just like your pages on the BLOGGER.
One package Jiffy cornbread mix and one package Jiffy yellow cake mix. Combine all the ingredients and bake as directed. It gives a light, fluffy, sweet cornbread much like you get at many chain restaurants.
There are, of course, many who disagree. It seems to be one of those highly emotional regional things like chili or barbeque that people can get really worked up over.
I've found that using butter instead of oil in the recipe and for greasing the pan helps the texture and flavor of both cornbread and corn cake.
As far as the north-south divide goes, I'm not so sure. Both of my grandmothers (both old-school Texans who learned to cook in the 20's, presumably before regional differences were all that blurred...) made yellow corn bread.
My mother's mother made it very short, with little sugar added, but using a high ratio of corn meal to flour, which meant it was sweeter than flour-heavy unsweetened cornbreads. She used a large skillet, so the bread was shallow, and shortened it with bacon grease (She would fry breakfast bacon in the skillet, then pour off the extra grease into the cornbread batter, and put the cornbread in the oven to bake while you eat breakfast. You have to eat a lot of bacon to make this work -- not recommended for the cholesterol-threatened.)
My father's mother made a taller, sweeter cornbread, but also using yellow meal. She usually baked it in one of those cast-iron corn-cake pans that make cakes shaped like ears of corn (shorter baking time, more surface area to become crust). She shortened the bread itself with Crisco, but greased the pan with butter.
For my part, I like both of these recipies. I like the flavor of yellow meal better than white. Also, for a more intense corn flavor, you can use a cup of corn meal and, in place of a cup of regular wheat flour, a half cup each of high gluten flour and masa harana or corn flour. You can add kernels of fresh corn, just sliced off the ear. And (yummy with catfish!) you can add sage, black pepper, and onion.
wheat flour instead of regular flour. This one is a winner.
Reminds me when I was in school eating at the cafeteria. It is the best cornbread I ever tasted.
Try it once. You will se what I mean.
Sweet Tea should be teeth-shatteringly sweet and lemony-minty to a fault. Drink it too fast and you'll be retching, but it's refreshing after a day outside of the A/C in humid weather. Iced Tea may have lemon, but should be generally enjoyed for its own mild bitterness and subtle flavors, preferrably while the day is declining but it's too early to be drinking beer. Thai Iced Tea should be enjoyed as often as the craving strikes, which it will every 3 days after the first time you drink it. It's crack, I tell you.
As the offspring of a New Orleans native and a Seattle native, I've learned to enjoy both sweet and unsweet cornbread-- the only one I haven't learned to love was the time Dad left out the leaveners-- the result was what we call to this day "corn fudge." I prefer the savory cornbread as the side for stews, soups, and chili, while the sweeter corncake as a snack, small breakfast, or side-bread to a meat dish. I butter the sweeter variant, and dip the savory version into the gravy of the stew/soup/chili.
I mix some of the fine yellow cornmeal with some coarser corn meal, to get a great texture. I know and have a big problem with the taste of too much baking powder in baked goods (also cookies for example), but I wouldn't describe it as sour. It leaves an unpleasant 'edge' on the teeth (sometimes spinach does too). Next time I'll try the recipe with less baking powder (2 t instead of 3).
I love the way this site tests recipes! more please!
Re the north/south cornbread divide: I had a mother from New Hampshire and a father from Texas. She made thick sweet cornbread with sweet milk in a baking pan; his mother made thin unsweet bread, with buttermilk, in a cast iron skillet. Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The unsweet won, hands down, in my opinion. It's very hard to find anymore, unless you know some old Southern country women. I can't make it right, no matter how hard I try.
Grandmom made it wth a coursely-ground corn meal and used buttermilk instead of milk.
strangely, i also got the same result once while making cookies which used oil instead of butter. so i concluded it was the oil
i substituted butter and got the same taste/sensation. i used different oils. i got fresh baking soda (perhaps that was the problem... i used soda instead of powder. who knows?).
the new baking soda did seem to help, but i also halved the recipe for that loaf, which may have affected it (i was tired of wasting ingredients)
finally, i think i have figured it out. the aforementioned cookies were baked at 400 deg. F. the cornbread is baked at 400 degrees. refined canola oil has a smoke point of 400 degrees. for butter it is 350. reaching the smoke point supposedly causes bad taste among other things.
what do you think??
The stories I have heard from the old-timers is the cornbread was made with bacon fat and they would pour real milk (straight from the cow with all the cream in it) over the corn bread and soak it in the milk. I was told that this was put in a container in the shape of a bucket with a lid hence the name lunch bucket. That was great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In the South they also have supper and I still haven't figured out when they squeeze that meal in but it is definitely different than dinner.
Instead of oil I use butter (salted) and instead of heavy cream.
If yer worried about calories and fat don't be. We all die sometime and should live while we're alive. If you live in fear are you alive?
célébrez la différence
1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk and 1/2 cup margerine or butter together
Add 2 eggs and the milk and margerine to dry ingredients and mix with a fork until just mixed
Pour into a greased 9 x9 pan and
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes
Now, to the business of cornbread. My gramma was from Bemis, TN, and the cornbread we ate was yellow and only mildly sweet with great texture from the cornmeal. I never learned to make hers (huge mistake), but the recipe on the Albers box made me happy. Then tonight I couldn't find it - it was out of my recipe binder, but I had another (Alber's) recipe to try and tweaked it a bit:
MIX TOGETHER IN ONE BOWL
1 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
2/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 c. frozen corn kernels
MIX TOGETHER IN ANOTHER BOWL
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 c. corn oil
3 T. melted butter
1 1/4 c. milk
COMBINE LIQUIDS WITH DRY INGREDIENTS JUST 'TIL MOISTENED, THEN POUR INTO 8" square pan, greased with corn oil
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes
This is VERY sweet and not exactly what I was looking for, but it was yummy just the same. The recipe originally called for 1-1/2 c. flour and only 1/2 c. of cornmeal, so I can imagine this would have been something you could cut into layers and frost. Also, I didn't add the 1/2 t. salt - we are cutting that ingredient everywhere possible. I thought 350 was just not the temperature I remembered for cornbread, but was committed to it once it was in the pan and in the oven, whilst I meanwhile scoured the internet for my familiar recipe. It came out very moist and NOT brown on top, but a light, shiny yellow, with an almost spongelike appearance. Like I said, not what I expected, but yummy just the same. Interestingly enough, the recipe at the top of this pile is the very one I was looking for! And yes, a cast iron skillet is best, and yes, bacon fat is best, but glass is fine and my doctor is happy I miss bacon fat rather than eat bacon fat. :-)
• 1 cup cornmeal
• ¾ cup unbleached flour
• 5 tbsp sugar
• 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 cup sour cream
• ¼ cup milk
• 1 egg
• 2 tsp oil
mix wet and dry ingredients together separately, than combine. Bake at 375F for 10 min then 350F for 15 more.
Makes delicious, incredibly soft cornbread
If you use white cornmeal you will get rid of the grittiness that you described in you analysis.
I also agree with and add more sugar or sometimes honey (depends on what I have on hand)
I also add finally minced onion (about 2 Tablespoons) This is also pretty consistent unless I am out of onion.
I also like to make my milk sour by adding vinegar to the milk or I use buttermilk, because it makes the cornbread lighter, more cake like.
I often use vanilla soy milk because I have it on hand.
Try it I think you will like it! :)
The basic (as in alkaline) ingredient(s) in the baking powder may have reacted already leaving an excess of acidic.
If you have issues with clumping due to moisture (perhaps living in a humid environment), check out Dry Spice. It may help with the problem.
For a non sugary light sweetness try a *high quality* extra virgin olive oil. A really good quality product might make the difference you're looking for.
My mom made hers quite differently, with the white cornmeal that she learned from HER mother (who was from Alabama-Georgia). My grandmother's tasted like CRAP, was very thin, white, full of sugar, and very cake-like consistency. DAMNED YANKEE BREAD. Gag!! It's too bad I didn't inherit my grandmother's cast-iron skillet though.
There are SIX SECRETS to good cornbread:
1) Cast-iron skillet is a must for crunchy edges and also cuts down on cooking time.
2) NO WHEAT FLOUR. This is cornbread, not cake!
3) NO SUGAR or other sweeteners. The only sweetness coming through should be the natural sweetness of the corn.
4) Do not whisk, beat, or otherwise mix the batter a lot. Just moisten the dry ingredients with the wet, almost like you were making biscuits.
5) Browned butter adds a wonderful flavor and a whole new dimension to your cornbread.
6) Baking your cornmeal to release its flavor before mixing your batter yeilds incredible results!
a copy cat recipe for when you are out of Jiffy.
Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix Copy Cat recipe
Equal to 8.5-oz box. Makes 6 muffins
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
Combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well with whisk. Whisk in vegetable oil and mix until dry mixture is smooth and lumps are gone.
You can use the above mixture in any recipe calling for a box of
Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (equal to 8.5 oz box)
To make Corn Muffins:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine above mixture with egg and milk. Mix well.
Fill muffin tins 1/2 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until
toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.
Makes 6 corn muffins muffins.
The only change I have made to this recipe is to use half coarse ground corn meal (polenta) and half medium ground cornmeal (Albers or other commercial cornmeal). I do prefer a bit of crunch in my cornbread!
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Cup medium ground corn meal
1/2 Cup coarse ground cornmeal
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Cup milk (or buttermilk, yoghurt, sour cream, cream - whatever dairy you prefer) (add a pinch of baking soda for yoghurt, sour cream or buttermilk)
6 Tbsp butter
I use a 9 inch cast iron skillet for this. Preheat the oven to 425º. while you're pre-heating, put the skillet in the oven with the butter and let it melt and pre-heat the skillet.
Mix the dry ingredients completely. Make a well in the middle and add the egg beaten into the dairy. Add the melted butter while stirring. Mix well - but don't over do it.
Pour batter into the skillet and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
If you want to spice it up, you can add a cup of grated cheddar, a cup of frozen corn and some chopped jalapenos (remove the seeds). i would say 1-2 Tbsp - depending on your predilection for heat! This tastes great with chili or soup on a cold winter evening!
and you grind yellow corn,
the results, color wise, sure look a lot alike.
but if you are using corn meal from the same "bag" and sometimes
- after baking -
it's white and sometimes it yellow
that would be a big puzzlement.
the yolk color can vary seriously big time.
could indeed affect color, not so convinced it would affect taste.
ps: I'm a yellow corn bread fan; the "snow white" version is outside my experience.
reason I ask, we used to get stone ground from a 'historic preserve' / operation and I can remember the little colored flecks in that meal - it was just whole corn, ground - I don't think they even sifted it - it would fall out of the millstone, they'd scoop it directly into a bag.....
I wonder if the bag content have 'settled out' some - so you're getting more or less of the bigger/heavier (presumed) color flecks as you go through the bag?
the moisture content - with 2 cups of dry + buttermilk, that's a fairly small amount - slight variation in the flour weight or buttermilk will be more noticeable in a small batch. I'm cooking small batches for two, and I've taken to using a scale and weighing everything - including liquids - so the results are more consistent.