If you want to get to know a person, just ask them what kind of cornbread they like. Crumbly or cakey? Sweet or spicy or just plain savory? Stuffed with all kinds of tasty shit like chilis and vegetables (or, if food blogs have taught me anything, really anything) or plain?
The answers will, in short, tell you if you have any possibility of getting along.
Some sticklers for tradition might tell you that cornbread ought to be as crumbly as a stale cookie and with minimal ingredients. I am not a stickler for tradition. Sticklers for tradition and I usually don’t get along.
A while back, I wrote about some jalapeno corn muffins. They’re great, yes—sweet and spicy and perfect alongside some bean chili—but this is a wee bit more traditional. Just a bit. The slightly crumbly texture is distinct from a regular old quick bread, despite the loaf shape. And yes, it’s a loaf. Because I’d never heard of anyone doing a cornbread loaf and so I wanted to try it. For science.
And what delicious science it is. This spin on Cook’s Illustrated’s recipe from last month’s magazine is fairly sweet, enough that it would be fine with jam, but not so sweet that it isn’t amazing with, well, chili. You see, we made a lot of bean chili last weekend, and obviously you need a carby accompaniment to that, and we had this terrific recipe on hand from the magazine...suffice it to say I can confirm that sugar-crusted cornbread is actually a dinner food.
Anyway. I’m done blathering. Let’s let the recipe do the talking now.
Vegan sweet cornbread loaf
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated January and February 2015
284 grams • cornmeal • 2 cups
125 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 cup
6 grams • baking powder • 1 ½ teaspoons
4 grams • baking soda • 1 teaspoon
5 grams • salt • 1 ¼ teaspoon
2 grams • chili powder • 1 teaspoon
305 grams • nondairy milk • 1 ¼ cups
225 grams • nondairy sour cream or yogurt • 1 cup
50 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup
114 grams • coconut oil, melted and cooled • ½ cup
13 grams • ground flaxseed • 2 tablespoons
90 grams • warm water • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chili powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together nondairy milk, sour cream or yogurt, 36 grams • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, coconut oil, flaxseed, and water. Fold wet ingredients into dry, being sure not to over-mix.
Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle remaining 13 grams • 1 tablespoon sugar on top. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
|Taken shortly before I snatched up one of the slices.|
While you’re here, check out some of these awesome breads I’ve made in the past.
Jalapeno corn muffins. I just love cornbread, what can I say?
Roasted butternut squash bread with cheesecake swirl. This one is definitely sweet. I think.
Cinnamon swirl bread. You’ve bought it from the bakery before; don’t lie. Now it’s time to take the homemade plunge!
Zucchini bread. Another Cook’s Illustrated recipe!