August 21, 2011

Corn Bread

I saw this cornbread recipe last night laying in bed reading blogs.  Immediately it spoke to me, I had corn and bacon and I needed this bread.  I got up and tossed the buttermilk and cornmeal together.  Actually...I spent Shane to the store at 1040 to buy my cornmeal...what a lovely guy.  At 11pm I mixed the cornmeal and buttermilk together and left it on the counter overnight.

This morning after I put on the coffee I started the oven. The bacon was cut into thick slices from the slab and I cut kernels of corn off the cob.  I melted butter and mixed in honey.  Whisk the eggs, sift the flour.  Cut the cooked bacon, preheated the pan and tossed it all together.  When it came out 30 minutes later my knees got a little shaky.  We waited patiently for the bread to cool and then sliced two generous pieces.  Holy Hannah!  Amazingness! Crispy bacon bits, crumbly bread that is pleasantly sweet!  Little pops of fresh corn, it tasted like summer-y heaven.  I'm going to freeze an extra bag of corn just so I can make this bread again on a cold winter's morning.  Here is a hint, make yourself a few jars of this Apricot and Jalapeno Jelly and slather it on top, you better be sitting down when you eat it though or you might find yourself on the floor.  (You can also buy it from me, just let me know!)

Corn Bread

From the Bread Baker's Apprentice - Peter Reinhart

1 cup coarse cornmeal (or polenta)
2 cups buttermilk
8 oz bacon (I only used 4)
220 g ap flour
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
50 g (1/4 c) white sugar
50 g (1/4 c) brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp honey
30 g (2 Tbsp) butter, melted
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 Tbsp bacon fat

The night before you want to start mix your cornmeal and buttermilk together.  Cover with plastic and leave on the counter overnight.

The following day: prepare the bacon, preheat the oven to 375 F.  Lay the sliced bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.  Remove the bacon from the tray and reserve the fat.  When the bacon has cooled sufficiently crumble it into pieces.

Turn the oven down to 350 F.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.  Add the sugars.  In another bowl beat the eggs lightly.  Dissolve the honey into the melted butter and add this mixture to the eggs.  Whisk the two together and add to the soaked cornmeal mixture.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and with a whisk or spoon combine the two together until the ingredients are evenly distributed, the batter is well blended.  It should be the consistency of thick pancakes batter.  Stir in the corn kernels until the are evenly distributed.

Drop two tablespoons of the bacon fat into a pan.  Use a 10-inch round cake pan, a 9x13 rectangle or a 12x12 square pan.  Put the pan in the oven for 5-7 minutes, enough time for the fat to get really hot.  Remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter in.  Press the batter evenly into the sides of the pan and sprinkle the bacon on top, gently pressing into the bread.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the bread is springy and firm when touched.  A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.  Allow the bread to cool at least a little before serving.  

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