Easy savoury cornbread recipe

 

Last Sunday I was invited to a Thanksgiving dinner and my friend Mariel from NY put on a huge feast for us (great homemade rum ice cream also by Rich!). Of course, my contribution to the dinner was going to be bread related and for this occasion it had to be cornbread (the savoury kind). This is my very own savoury cornbread recipe, tried and tested many times.

First of all, some clarification on cornmeal since I live in the UK and this is a typical US dish. Cornmeal (the finely ground version you need for cornbread) is also referred to as maize flour in the UK or you might get finely ground polenta.

Traditionally in the States, a skillet (a cast iron pan with slanted sides) is used for baking cornbread. The skillet is the only way to make it all-round crispy and crunchy. Unfortunately, I’m currently lacking a skillet (not much longer I hope!) so I used a baking tin. You can use the same recipe to make savoury cornbread muffins. Just divide the mixture among the muffin tins and bake for slightly shorter than in the below recipe (about 20 minutes overall).

The best savoury cornbread recipe

Ingredients for savoury cornbread

  • 100g maize flour
  • 100g plain white flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50g butter, melted (traditionally bacon fat is used, but I prefer to use butter) plus 1 tbsp of butter for the onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 175g buttermilk (or full-fat milk with a bit of lemon juice)
  • 100g sweetcorn (from the tin), chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green or red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 125g of cheddar, grated

How to make cornbread

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper. In terms of baking tray size, the above recipe will fill a 23cm square (or round) baking tin, about 4cm deep.
  3. Melt a tablespoon of the butter in a frying pan and sautée the onion for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chili and fry for another 5 minutes until the onions start to brown.
  5. Add the chopped sweetcorn kernels and stir for another 2 – 3 minutes.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. In a large bowl, mix the maize flour, plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir the dry ingredients with a balloon whisk until well blended.
  8. In a separate bowl – mix together the butter, eggs, honey and buttermilk – again a balloon whisk works best.
  9. Add both mixtures (the dry and wet ingredients) together, mix it all up carefully until combined.
  10. Gently fold in the onion, chili and sweetcorn mixture and ⅔ of the grated cheddar. You should now have a creamy, thick, barely pourable batter.
  11. Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake at 200°C for about 15 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven to quickly sprinkle the remaining ⅓ of the grated cheese on top.
  13. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the cornbread turns golden brown.
  14. Check that the bread is baked through by inserting a toothpick into the centre – it should come out completely clean.
  15. Allow the bread to cool in the baking tin for about 10 – 15 minutes before you move it onto a wire rack.
Easy, savoury cornbread with sweetcorn, onion, chili and cheddar
Savoury cornbread: great colour and texture and ready to join the Thanksgiving trimmings

What a wonderfully colourful bread! Soft and moist on the inside with a deep golden brown crust.

This savoury cornbread recipe works really well with soups, starters, grilled meat or salads. Try to fry slices in butter, it’s delicious.

Experiment with the ingredients, take out the chili and just add some fresh herbs such as thyme. Build a basic cornbread batter and add whatever you are in the mood for – sun-dried tomatoes or olives for example. Note that you might need to adjust the amount of buttermilk you use as the consistency of the batter will be determined by the moisture content of your selection of savoury ingredients.

Wrap any leftovers in foil and reheat in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hot Dog Buns Recipe for a Family Baking Fest

 

While visiting my brother-in-law’s family in Dublin last weekend, I was looking for something which would be fun to bake, make and eat with the kids.

After a lovely cycle along the Dublin coastline, we went for a bit of grocery shopping in Sandymount Village and paid Michael Byrne & Son (Craft Butchers) a visit.

We couldn’t help but notice the great variety of (huge!) sausages on display and decided to buy a selection for a family hot dog feast on Sunday.

Here’s a recipe for delicious hot dog buns. They taste A LOT better than any supermarket buns and add hugely to the hot dog cooking experience.

What you’ll need to bake them (ingredients) – Bakes 8 Hot Dog buns

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 200ml milk, lukewarm
  • 100ml water, lukewarm
  • 25g melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

How you’ll bake them –

  1. Add 100ml of the lukewarm milk, the sugar, yeast and 2 tablespoons of flour into a large bowl and mix together. Don’t add the salt or butter at this stage!
  2. Leave to rest in a warm place until the volume has doubled.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to make the dough.
  4. Knead for 10 minutes and leave to rise for an hour in a lightly floured bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place in a draught-free place
  5. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
  7. Now form the hot dogs –
  8. Use your palms to form a ball for each of the parts and then pat the pieces into oval shapes (about ⅔ of the length of your hot dog sausages). You won’t need a rolling pin for this.
  9. Use the edge of your hand to indent the dough down the length of the center.
  10. Gently fold the sides into the middle of the oval (length-wise i.e. only fold the two longer sides) towards the indentation you created and close by slightly pinching the edges to seal. Make sure the folded package is still going to be wide enough to fill with your hot dog sausages and tasty fillings later.
  11. Turn the dough pieces around so that the seams are at the bottom (seam-side down).
  12. Roll the dough buns carefully back and forth to gently seal the seams.
  13. Tuck any sharp ends in to flatten / round the ends. Each piece should now be of the same length as your hot dog sausages.
  14. Place all the pieces onto baking paper on a baking tray.
  15. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 mins.
  16. Brush each bun with the beaten egg.
  17. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 20 mins or until golden brown. The buns should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  18. Cool for about 10 mins on a wire rack before eating.
Pam Aoibhinn Proud Hot Dog Bun Bakers
Aoibhinn & I – Two very proud hot dog bakers
Homemade Hot Dog buns
Homemade Hot Dog buns cooling on a wire rack & getting ready to be munched on!

Gently open and fill – enjoy the deliciously rich flavour!

Apart from the very tasty sausages we added fried onions and wholegrain mustard, some Kilmeaden cheddar as well as chopped  tomatoes (with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a bit of olive oil).

Daragh and Aoibhinn preferred the simpler sausage and ketchup version 🙂