...sometimes you don't. And I have now determined conclusively that I do not like actual corn in my cornbread. In the past I've avoided it, figuring I probably wouldn't like it that way. But the next bread in the BBA Challenge was cornbread, including actual corn, so I figured I'd finally give it a try. Since it's a quick bread, the batter doesn't take all that long to mix together. You do have to plan ahead a bit, though, since the recipe calls for coarse cornmeal (polenta) that has to soak overnight. The cornbread also has bacon on top. Reinhart recommends cooking the bacon in the oven, and that's my usual method anyway. It's nice to be able to do a whole batch at once and not make a big mess of the stovetop. One thing I do recommend is completely lining your sheet pan with foil to make clean up a lot easier. The batter is made with the standard muffin method--combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, then combine the two. I decided to make muffins--a dozen, since I only have one muffin pan--and used an 8" round pan for the rest of the batter. I heated the pans in the oven, added a bit of the bacon fat, added the batter, and put everything in the oven. Oh, and I did add corn to the round pan, though not to the muffins.
The verdict? Big failure on this one. The muffins had leavening issues, I think. They ended up with divots in the middle. And they tried to stick to the pan, though I was able to pry them out intact. The round pan was a total disaster. I think the pan wasn't hot enough (plus the only pan I had was shiny aluminum, and I think a dark pan would have worked much better). The cornbread stuck in the middle, so I ended up with a ring of soggy cornbread. Yuck. I did sample it, and as I mentioned above, I definitely don't like corn in my cornbread. Gillian seemed to like the muffins okay. She ate one and part of another. Brianna mostly picked the bacon off the top of hers and left the rest. Jamie thought the cornbread was okay, though not great, but he eats almost anything. =) I ate a muffin and wasn't impressed. Just not my cup of tea, I guess. I prefer my cornbread sweeter, and despite containing white sugar, brown sugar and honey, this cornbread was not particularly sweet. I'm fairly certain I won't be making this one again.
Others had a lot more luck with this recipe. Head over to the BBA Challenge blogroll to see how everyone else is doing with the challenge (the main group is well past the cornbread). And check out Nancy's blog sometime soon for a cornbread round-up from the Slow and Steady sub-group.