Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Archive for the ‘Corn Bread’ Category

Cornmeal Muffins (Homegrown Gourmet #5)

Posted by bakinghistory on February 7, 2008

cornmeal-muffins-2.jpg

Made with yellow corn meal and a touch of sugar, the corn muffin is the official muffin of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

                                roundup is HERE

This is my entry for the Homegrown Gourmet #5 blog event hosted this time by Gretchen from Canela & Comino and initiated by Bean’s Bistro.

Gretchen’s theme was Quick Breads and she specified that each entry should “somehow represent your home region, hometown, state, or area. Representation can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist”.

I write from the beautiful State of Massachusetts, so for this event my entry could only be Corn Muffins, which are the official muffin of the Commonwealth.

This recipe gives buttery, very light muffins, with a pleasant crunchiness provided by the stone ground cornmeal, and a nice touch of sweetness. Ideally, they should be baked in cast iron muffin pans, which should be heated in the oven before being filled with batter. This would ensure that the muffins turn out crispy on the outside and nice and spongy inside. Otherwise, regular muffin pans will work almost as well, of course without preheating.

From the original recipe by Lucia Gray Swett

In: “New England breakfast breads, luncheon and tea biscuits, 1891—USA

Ingredients (the recipe can be halved)

1/2 cup (115 g) butter + a little extra to grease the pans

1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar

4 eggs, divided

2 cups (245 g) yellow cornmeal (stone ground)

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups (250 g) AP flour (unbleached)

2-1/4 (535 ml) cups milk

3 tsp baking powder OR 1 tsp baking soda + 2 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). If you are using cast iron muffin pans preheat them in the oven.

If you are using baking powder, sift it with the AP flour. If you are using baking soda and cream of tartar sift the cream of tartar with the AP flour and dissolve the baking soda in some of the milk. Sift the cornmeal with the salt.

Cream the butter with the sugar, add the yolks, the AP flour (sifted with either baking powder or cream of tartar), and part of the milk (not the amount in which you dissolved the baking soda, in case you used it). Add the cornmeal and salt, then add the remaining milk (the amount in which you dissolved the baking soda if using it). Mix the ingredients quickly, by hand. Finally fold in the egg whites, beaten until stiff.

Grease the muffin pans with melted butter (using a small brush is best). Do this carefully if you preheated the cast iron pans in the oven. Fill each muffin cup for about 2/3 and quickly place them in the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 400°F (200°C) bake until the muffins are puffed and golden, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

P.S. The book recommended using cream of tartar + baking soda as they would give better results than baking powder, and I found this to be true.


 

Advertisements

Posted in American Cooking, Blog Events, Cast-iron cooking, Comfort Food, Corn Bread, Grains, Muffins & Biscuits, Regional American Food, State Foods | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

New England Corn Cake

Posted by bakinghistory on July 12, 2007

necorncake4.jpg

A yeasted corn bread with a crisp, golden crust and a creamy, soft interior.

Blog-Event XXV- American Cooking

From the original recipe by Fannie L. Gillette

In “The White House Cook Book” 1887–USA

Ingredients

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

2 eggs

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.necorncakethumb.jpg

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.

Posted in Blog Events, Corn Bread, Regional American Food, Yeasted Breads | 7 Comments »