Because everything’s better with bacon cornbread
Occasionally I like to trade dinner for a Top Chef Marathon with my old roomies. It was a night just like that. And there was a request for cornbread. I’ve had my eye on Peter Reinhardt’s recipe from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”, so i gave it a shot.
First roast some bacon.
And then bake it on top of the cornbread.
And viola! The perfect winter dinner. And by that I mean chili. But vegetarian chili for the delicate among us.
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 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)
- The night before making the bread, soak the cornmeal in the buttermilk. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight.
- 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.
- 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 soaked cornmeal mixture.
- 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.
- Place 2 tablespoons 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.
- 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.