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Cornbread, Muffins or Sticks

December 24, 2006

Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease the pan or pans with butter, oil or bacon drippings. Place in the oven until sizzling hot.

Whisk together in a large bowl:

1 1/4 cups yellow or white cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 to 4 tablespoons sugar (by taste)
3/4 teaspoon salt

Add:

1 or 2 large eggs, beaten (2 eggs produce a richer bread)
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter, bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1 cup milk

Combine with a few rapid strokes. Scrape the batter into the hot pan or pans. Bake sticks about 12 minutes, corn bread and muffins 15 to 18 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve immediately.

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Makes one 8-inch square bread, about 15 muffins, or about 20 sticks.

- Recipe from "Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition," Simon and Schuster, 2006, $30.)

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