Homemade Cornbread with Sweet Corn and Cheddar Cheese

So if you're anything like me, when you saw the recipe for Vegetarian Chili yesterday, you asked, "Where's the cornbread?"  Well, the cornbread came a day late, but luckily I'm still enjoying some leftover chili, so all is not lost.

While I have always loved cornbread, until yesterday, I had never made a batch from scratch before.  What kind of baker am I?  I had just been blindly using the Jiffy mix all this time and didn't realize that homemade cornbread is so simple and tastes considerably better.  If you're in the same boat and looking to make a change, this is a great recipe to get you started.

I started out using the Basic Corn Bread recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook.  The recipe starts with cornmeal and flour, and I used organic cornmeal and whole wheat pastry flour to make this even healthier.  The great part about using cornmeal with the whole wheat pastry flour is that the cornbread retains that pretty yellow color and you get all the benefits of using whole wheat flour.

I also added fresh corn, green onions, and some sharp cheddar cheese to the basic cornbread recipe to give it a flavor boost and some added texture.  This recipe was so quick and easy that it will likely make it into the regular rotation, especially during the summer when fresh corn is so sweet and readily available.

Homemade Cornbread with Sweet Corn and Cheddar Cheese (Makes 8 large wedges) 
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk or yogurt
1 egg
3 Tablespoons turbinado sugar or honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 ear fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob
2 green onions, white and some green parts minced
1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a pie pan or 8- to 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

1. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2.  Whisk together the buttermilk (or yogurt), egg, sugar (or honey), olive oil, and melted butter in a smaller bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until they are just combined.  The mixture will be somewhat lumpy due to the texture of the cornmeal, so don't worry about getting the texture too smooth.

3.  Add the corn kernels, green onions, and grated cheese to the batter and mix just until everything is incorporated.  Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and smooth the top with your spatula.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 28 to 33 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch and the edges are brown.  And when I say that the center needs to be firm to the touch, I really recommend pulling the pan out and actually using your finger to see if it's done.

The recipe I started with said to cook the cornbread for "20 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch." I cooked the cornbread in the oven along with our dinner, but after 20 minutes, the cornbread was nowhere near done.  I was really glad that the recipe said how to know when it's done rather than just giving a time.  I just let it cook until it was firm and it turned out great.

Lesson: Trust your intuition.  You'll know when it's done.  We've all seen and eaten cornbread before - it's not a mystery (this recipe even has pictures in case you're unsure!).  I'm sure that you can test it by sticking a toothpick in the middle as well, but who wants a hole in the middle of their fabulous cornbread that they made from scratch?   

Serve the cornbread hot, warm, or at room temperature.  Feel free to spread some butter and/or honey on top.

I cut these into 8 large wedges, kind of like a pie, but you could always cut them into smaller pieces if you want to create additional servings.  Here are the nutrition facts for one wedge of corn bread made with buttermilk (assuming you get 8 total slices).

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 92 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Saturated Fat 
Trans Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 
Vitamin A 5%Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 14%Iron 7%

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