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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cornbread with Bacon, Onions, Corn, and Maple Syrup

Cheerful and sunny enough to warm your bones on even the coldest of days.  Although I usually prefer a simple, sweet loaf baked up in comforting cast-iron...there's just something so primal about a simple, unsweetened disk.  With eyes closed, it transports me to the campfires of my ancestors with one earthy bite.  I love a good muffin studded with smoky bites of bacon.  Gooey, sharp cheese is always a delight.  Perhaps a hint of green from blades of chives or even scallions.  How about the heat from fire-roasted chiles that marries so well with each bite of corn?  While I will be making a yeasted bread with corn later on this month, I also wanted to show the glory of a good ol' baking powder leavened cornbread.  This one is about as basic as it gets.  If you're not an unadorned cornbread kinda diner...then think hard before you make this one.  No sugar.  No heat.  No smoke.  No sharp.  No green.  Just naked all its glory.
Plain and Simple
from the River Cottage Bread Handbook by Daniel Stevens
makes 1 small "loaf"

2 c. (8.8oz/250g) cornmeal
2½ tsp. (.35 oz/10g) baking powder
1 tsp. (.18 oz/5g) fine salt
2 Tbs. bacon fat
½ c. milk
½ c. yogurt

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Place a medium heavy-bottomed, ovenproof frying pan over medium heat to warm up.

Meanwhile, mix the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.  Melt 1 Tbs. bacon fat in a small saucepan.  Gently whisk milk and yogurt together, then stir into same pan.  Warm through, then pour onto dry ingredients and stir it all together.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of fat in the warmed frying pan, then immediately pour in the cornmeal mixture.  Let cook for one minute, then transfer to oven and bake ~20 minutes, until firm and golden.  Eat right away or let cool.
I followed Stevens' suggestion and fried the cornbread, cut first into strips, in some bacon fat (from bacon just cooked in same pan), then added a knob of butter and a handful of chopped onion to the pan to get soft and golden.  Then I threw in some blanched corn kernels and warmed the whole thing through.  Serve it all together with warm maple syrup drizzled over everything and a good cracking of fresh black pepper.  Down home goodness.  Next time I will make sure I have bourbon for sipping alongside.  If only I had a swing and a big country porch.
This post is linked to:
Bread Baking Day #36: "CORN"y Breads which I am hosting this month.
BBD36 BYOB MizHelen‘sFullPlateThursday

Would you like to comment?

  1. naked in all it's glory "love It"


  2. Can you believe I've never made cornbread in a cast iron skillet. Love the bacon combo, and with maple syrup....yum

  3. This is my kind of cornbread!! Just sop up that maple syrup!

  4. Cirbread is a true Southerm classic. I have adopted a Southern drawl just browsing this recipe.

  5. Oh yes! Fried cornbread with bacon and corn and maple syrup. I'm so there. What time is breakfast? LOL!
    Looks amazing.

  6. Mmm, I'm coming for breakfast! Everything is better with bacon. ☺

  7. Mmmmm, looks so good I can smell it! Now I'm tempted to make it. That bacon looks YUMMO! Have a great weekend and thanks.

  8. Oh my stars....this is almost too obscenely wonderful. Is it wrong to feel this way about corn and bacon and ohhhhhhh my.
    The Olde Bagg

  9. Oh that does look wonderful. I could have that for breakfast and lunch and be happy. :)

  10. Corn bread looks delicious,my cornbread experiments always failed. so this one i can try.

  11. that first picture looks good enough to hang on my wall! love this cornbread!

  12. This is just not fair - I'm starving! I want some right now!!

    Hope your year is off to a good start! I've missed you!

  13. Ooo, looks like a southern staple to me. I want!

  14. I was so excited when I found out you were here at Full Plate Thursday with your wonderful Cornbread. You brought it to the right place we have got the porch and the swing, it will fit right in here. Thank you so much for coming and please come back!

  15. What a beautiful looking loaf of cornbread. Looks like that cast iron skillet really is the ticket for a good bread.

  16. The cornbread is amazing with all those wonderful toppings you have piled on it. Yum! ;-)

  17. My fiance loves cornbread, especially with chili, but I've never made it before. Your recipe looks like it is worth a try.

  18. It looks like a refrigerator accident (ha ha) but dayum it looks like a happy accident! All of these work so good together, like "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter".

  19. WOW!! This might be the best cornbread recipe I have ever seen.. EVER. Bacon really does maky everything better! Wanted to invite you to share this recipe (and many others that you have) at Seasonal Sundays:
    Seriously wonderful site you have- so excited I found it :)
    xo, Brittany

  20. Wow! Finally getting around to checking out the recipes the peeps entered in BBD #36!! Love this one - it looks sooooo delicious with the bacon and corn and i bet the maple syrup just put this one right over-the-top! :D

  21. It has the color of a warm spring day. Love it!