New England Corn Cake
Posted by bakinghistory on July 12, 2007
A yeasted corn bread with a crisp, golden crust and a creamy, soft interior.
From the original recipe by Fannie L. Gillette
In “The White House Cook Book” 1887–USA
1 quart (948 ml) whole milk
2 cups (300 g) stone ground yellow corn meal (whole grain)
1 cup (140 g) bread flour
1-1/2 tsp (6 g) active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water
1 tsp (6 g) salt
2 tbsp (30 g) butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp (2.3 g) baking soda dissolved in 1 tbsp (15 ml) warm water
Mix corn meal and bread flour in a large bowl. Scald the milk then pour it over the flours and mix well, taking care to eliminate lumps. Set aside to cool and when lukewarm add the melted butter and the yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp of warm water. Cover the bowl and set aside for 2-3 hours, until the mixture is light and bubbly.
Preheat the oven to
450° F (230° C). 350°F (180°C)
Beat the eggs until light and foamy, add salt and baking soda dissolved in 1 tbsp of water, then pour into the cornmeal mixture. Beat until eggs are well incorporated then pour the batter (it will still be relatively loose) into a lightly greased 10-inch (28 cm) cake pan (I used a cast iron pan), let stand, covered, for 15 minutes then bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. (A few minutes before the end of the baking time increase the oven temperature to 450°F (230°C) in order to get a nice golden crust.
Serve hot from the oven.
Note. The first time I tried to make this recipe I thought it would never work: there seemed to be too much liquid and the cornmeal sank to the bottom of the bowl in a loose mass. But after the yeast was added and left to ferment for a while, the mixture turned light and relatively cohesive. Well beaten eggs and a hot oven did the rest. This corn bread turns out perfect every time.