i present to you, the readers: your quiet sunday morning.
keep in mind, your quiet sunday morning will start with the sound of sizzling bacon, but who doesn’t love that? and until you take the bread out of the oven, your morning will also be filled with the sounds of your friends and family asking “is it done yet? is it done yet?” but once you start divvying out pieces of this perfect, moist and flavorful corn bread, simply put, everyone will shut up. forget dry, tasteless and crumbly corn bread – this is the real deal, complete with bacon fat. pair it up with brunch, or with a great big bowl of chili.
it’s sweet, but not too sweet, soft and delicate but still hearty, and of course, topped with delicious crumbled bacon. with a mix of fresh corn and coarse cornmeal (soaked in buttermilk), the flavors are so vibrant, you can take a break from your new years diet to indulge.
there are hundreds of variations on corn bread, but all of them have one thing in common: when you eat corn bread, it just makes you just feel good inside.
from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.
1 cup (6 oz) coarse cornmeal
2 cups (16 oz) buttermilk
8 oz bacon (approx. 10 slices)
1 3/4 cups (8 oz) flour
1 1/2 Tbsp (.05 oz) baking powder
1/4 tsp (.16 oz) baking soda
1 tsp (.25 oz) salt
1/4 cup (2 oz) white sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz) brown sugar
2 Tbsp (1.5 oz) honey
2 Tbsp (1 oz) butter, melted
2 1/2 cups (16 oz) corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 Tbsp (1 oz) bacon fat or vegetable oil)
1. the night before making the bread, soak the cornmeal in the buttermilk. cover and leave at room temperature overnight.
2. the next day, fry the bacon or cook it in the oven. drain off the fat into a can or bowl and save for greasing the pan. when the bacon has cooled, crumble it into coarse pieces.
3. preheat the oven to 350. sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. stir in the 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 soacked cornmeal mixture.
4. add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and the batter is blended and smooth. stir in the corn kernels until they are even distributed.
4. place 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat in 10 inch cake pan or a 9×13 inch baking pan. place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the fat gets very hot. remove the pan, tilt the pan to coat the bottom and sides and pour in the batter. sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top, gently pressing them into the batter.
5. bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes, until the bread is firm and a tester comes out clean. allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving. for muffins, fill muffin tins to the top and bake at 350 F for the same amount of time.