I already had a go-to corn bread recipe before trying this one. I like my corn bread sweet, and I wasn’t sure how this recipe would play out; there was more sugar than my normal recipe, but it also made more batter.
I knew I was going to have to make some modifications to this Corn Bread recipe. For starters, no bacon, since despite the urgings of my friends, I am still “not on the food chain.” I decided to make muffins, as Reinhart suggests in the commentary, because I don’t have a 10-inch cake pan or a 12-inch square pan. I do have a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, but I liked the idea of muffins better.
I also didn’t have polenta so I substituted medium-grind cornmeal this time:
I set my cornmeal soaking in buttermilk, but Reinhart says to leave the soaker at room temperature overnight. Now, I don’t know about the weather where you are, but here we are having a mini heat wave. I was pretty sure that if I left out the soaker overnight, I would wake up to a bowl full of spoiled buttermilk with flakes of cornmeal. So I stowed it in the refrigerator overnight.
This recipe is quick and easy compared to most of the others we have done so far. I didn’t have any trouble finishing it up after work yesterday, since I spent the weekend driving home from our mountain vacation. First I sifted the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in my handy sifter:
Then added the white and brown sugars. I think I could have done a better job of breaking up the brown sugar lumps.
Mixed melted butter and honey – a combination that, much like the creaming butter and sugar from the cinnamon roll recipe, almost always means good things to come.
Then added it to my lightly-beaten eggs:
Then added this to my soaker, and then added all the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Reinhart says this should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. He seems to like that description, since I know we have heard it before.
Then we are supposed to stir in a full pound of corn kernels (I used frozen). After last week’s cinnamon raisins and this week’s corn kernels, I am starting to think that the amount of add-ins in these recipes will stretch our dough’s capacity to the limits.
I started with the big muffin cups. I just sprayed the cups with spray oil, so didn’t end up adding any extra vegetable oil to replace the bacon fat.
I was a little concerned because Reinhart says to fill them to the tops, but I did so.
Then I put them in the oven. I checked them after 25 minutes, and they weren’t done and also seemed to be baking unevenly, so I rotated the pan and let them bake for another 10 minutes. In the meantime, I set up another pan to bake.
The only problem with the muffin option is it doesn’t say how many muffins the recipe will make. So after I filled up the 12 standard muffin cups, I switched to mini muffin cups, and filled up 19 of those.
You know how when you have empty muffin cups in a metal pan, you need to fill them with water so the pan doesn’t warp? Do you have to do that with silicone?
I did, but I don’t know if it’s necessary.
I also remembered something that I had forgotten on the big muffins, but usually use: sprinkling sugar for topping them. I put some on the mini muffins, at least.
I took the big muffins out to cool and put the minis in. I think they lasted for 20 minutes, but I might have taken them out too soon.
Neither batch really rose too much, so I didn’t have to worry about overfilling. I guess Peter Reinhart knows what he’s doing.
Corn bread is one of Mike’s most favorite things, so I have a feeling this might be the second recipe that we eat all by ourselves. (The first was the bagels; everything else we have had to give away part of the batch). I liked these a lot. They weren’t as sweet as my normal recipe, but I think all of the corn kernels contributed sweetness, too. So it was a milder flavor, but still tasty. I give them a 4.5.