Can you believe I’ve made it through the tenth bread in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge? I was a little surprised to see a quick bread recipe in the book, but I’m really happy that Mr. Reinhart decided to include this corn bread.
It’s sweet and dense, without being too heavy. The slices were crispy on the outside, but very moist inside. The sweetness of the fresh cut corn is nicely balanced out by the salty bacon on top. I pretty much loved everything about it!
Of course I’m from California and I grew up eating a fairly sweet corn bread.
This isn’t a corn bread that needs a bowl of black-eyed peas. It doesn’t even need butter. This corn bread can stand alone. Although it’s probably sweet enough for dessert, I actually enjoyed it most for breakfast. But it also paired nicely with the braised short ribs my sister and Aunt prepared last week after falling under the spell of The Barefoot Contessa.
But the thing about this ‘quick bread’ recipe is that it isn’t so quick. It requires you to soak some coarse-ground cornmeal in buttermilk overnight. You also have to saw the kernels off a few cobs of corn and fry up some bacon before you can proceed with the recipe. But that is a small price to pay for such a big reward!
The recipe said to use a 10-inch round cake pan for the bread, but I prefer corn bread baked in a cast iron skillet. I preheated my 10-inch skillet in the oven and poured in some of the leftover bacon drippings and swirled them around. The book actually instructed me to do this, but you know I would have done it anyway. After pouring in the batter and hearing that satisfying sizzle, you sprinkle crumbled bacon over the top and gently press it in before returning the skillet to the oven.
The only problem I had with the recipe was the cooking time. My corn bread took about 45 minutes to bake through, not 30 minutes as the book suggested. Everyone else had the same issue, so it wasn’t just my oven. Make sure you keep that in mind if you’re going to give this one a try. And really, I think you should give it a try. The recipe can be found on page 151 of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.
For those of you who are participating in The BBA Challenge, here are some questions: How did you like the Corn Bread? Did you make any changes? Would you make it again?
And remember, if you wrote a blog post about the Corn Bread, or have photos available online, please leave a comment and share your link!
The Next Bread
Next we will be making Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread. We have the option of using other types of dried fruit or nuts, so I’m actually making Cherry Pecan Celebration Bread. The instructions begin on page 154 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I have to tell you that I’m ready to get past these sweet breads, but at least I’ll get some more practice braiding bread dough! Good luck and happy baking!
Want to Bake Along With Us?
There are several ways for you to join in the fun! First of all, you need a copy of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Read the first section of the book carefully, as this will prepare you for the bread recipes in the second section of the book. Then just jump in and bake some Anadama Bread, which is the first recipe in the book. But first, please visit The BBA Challenge Page for more details on how to participate in the group!
If you haven’t already, you might want to bookmark the BBA Challenge Page. From there you can see which breads are coming up soon, find answers to Frequently Asked Questions, visit and/or add yourself to our World Map, see the BBA Challenge Blogroll, and check out the continually updated slideshow of BBA Bread photos from our ever-expanding group of bakers!
Corn Bread from other BBA Challenge members: