What glorious weather we’ve had this week in the UK! The blue sky and sunshine has been very welcome indeed. I doubt that it will last but I’m determined to make the most of it while it’s here 🙂
Since it’s been so warm, we’ve had some lighter dinners this week. On Tuesday, we had one of my all-time favourite soups – Mexican Black Bean Soup – which we served with some toasted tortilla segments and a side dish of cornbread.
I’ve tried many cornbread recipes over the years, but they’ve never suited my family’s tastes. The American recipes tend to be too sweet, while Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe (which only uses cornmeal rather than a mix with wheat flour) was too overpowering for us. It was also really dry (or maybe that was down to me). M didn’t even think the ducks would like it, so we ended up throwing it in the compost!
Anyway, I’m relieved to say that my third attempt of the week turned out really well. I revisited my old cornbread recipe and tweaked it slightly, adding more liquid and some apple cider vinegar so that it was lighter and less dry. I really liked the texture of this latest batch – it had a lightly crisped exterior and fluffy, moist interior. It was perfect for dipping into the soup and didn’t need any margarine or oil on it. The quantities made 9 large slices, so I’ve frozen the remaining slices for future Mexican dishes.
This cornbread recipe may not be authentic, but it’s got great texture and flavour (plus it’s 100% plant-powered!) It’s very simple to make, requires little hands-on time and will be ready in 30 minutes. Prepare the bread first and it can be baking while you cook your Mexican dish.
Here’s the recipe:
Hands-on time: 15 minutes Ready in: 60 minutes
480 ml / 2 cups soya milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
140g / 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
140g /1 cup fine wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or chapatti flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp salt
50ml / ¼ cup organic rapeseed (canola) oil or other neutral-flavoured oil
1 TBSP maple syrup
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Grease a 20cm / 8 inch baking pan and line the bottom with non-stick baking paper.
2. Whisk together the milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl and set to one side for a couple of minutes.
3. Place the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in another bowl and stir to combine.
4. Whisk the oil and syrup into the milk and vinegar.
5. Sieve the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient bowl roughly in thirds, whisking each time until smooth before adding the next third. Stir in any remaining wheatgerm from the sieve.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife round the edge to loosen the bread, then invert onto a chopping board so you can peel off the baking paper.
8. Stored in an airtight container, this bread will keep for up to five days in the fridge or for weeks in the freezer. Warm through before serving.
Have a great weekend everyone! xx
Have you tried corn bread before? If so, do you prefer it sweet or savoury?