Corn Bread. What a delicious treat for a cold Saturday afternoon. My husband, who loves to cook, whipped this up and let me tell ya, it was good. What I love about this recipe is its rustic and hearty quality. The recipe came from a cookbook called The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. If you like corn bread give this recipe a try. You may also want to check out another favorite that I shared on a previous post by clicking here.
- 1 cup coarse cornmeal (also packaged as “polenta”)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 8 ounces bacon (approximately 10 slices)
- 1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
1. The night before baking the corn bread, soak the cornmeal in the buttermilk. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.
2. The next day, to prepare the bacon, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lay out the bacon on 2 sheet pans. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Using tongs or a fork, remove the pieces to a pan lined with paper towels to cool. Drain off the fat into a can or stainless-steel bowl and save for greasing the corn bread pan. When the bacon has cooled, crumble it into coarse pieces.
3. Lower the oven setting to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Dissolve the honey in the melted butter and then stir the warm honey-butter mixture into the eggs. Add this to the soaked cornmeal mixture. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon or whisk until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and the batter is blended and smooth. It should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Stir in the corn kernels until they are evenly distributed.
4. Place 2 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat into a 10-inch round cake pan (you can also use a 9 by 13-inch baking pan or a 12-inch square pan). Place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the fat gets very hot. With good pot holders or oven mitts, remove the pan, tilt it to grease all the corners and sides, and pour in the batter, spreading it from the center of the pan to the edges. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon pieces evenly over the top, gently pressing them into the batter.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the corn bread is firm and springy (the baking time will depend on the size of the pan) and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top will be a medium golden brown. The internal temperature at the center of the corn bread should register at least 185 degrees F.
6. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing it into squares of wedges. Serve warm.