Cast Iron Cornbread

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I had never eaten cornbread before moving to the USA, which isn’t really that surprising. I suppose back home our “cheat” bread is damper and many Americans wouldn’t have tried that either. The first cornbread I had was a sweet version that I’m pretty sure had grits in it as well, judging by the texture. It was moist and chewy, sweet and delicious, but really only a one trick pony. A savory version can be used as sandwich bread, as the base to a stuffing, or served with soups, etc. It’s much more versatile. I based the following recipe from reading about cornbread in general – to get an idea of ingredients, as well as the method. I soak the cornmeal in buttermilk beforehand. Some say that true Southern cornbread is 100% cornmeal, others say that it’s not necessarily so. Not being from the South, let alone the country, I have absolutely no opinion on what is or isn’t traditional, I just make my own, utterly tasty version.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

This recipe is very versatile, as it can be made gluten-free and low FODMAP. Cornbread is a good option for those on special diets. I would definitely recommend adding the optional herbs to enhance the flavor and derive the benefits associated with herbs such as rosemary. In studies, rosemary is seen to have anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties. An indulgence like cornbread can be had every now and again, especially if its healthful side is enhanced.

By Dianne Rishikoff, MS, RDN, LDN
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Cast Iron Cornbread

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Servings: 16-20

Ingredients

2 ¼ cups cornmeal

2 cups buttermilk or lactose free milk

1 ½ cups rye flour (or other gluten-free flour blend with ½ teaspoon xanthan gum or 1 tablespoon chia meal)

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

¾ cup unsalted butter (softened)

2 large eggs

optional: ¼ cup roughly cut fresh herbs, such as rosemary

Instructions

  1. Combine the cornmeal and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up.
  4. While the cornmeal is soaking, sift the flour (with any necessary xanthan gum or chia meal), baking powder, salt and optional herbs into a separate bowl.
  5. Combine eggs and softened butter (the softer, the better) in another bowl.
  6. When the cornmeal and buttermilk have been sitting for ten minutes, add in first the wet ingredients and then gradually add and mix in the dry ingredients. Depending on your particular flours of choice, you may or may not need all of it. The mixture should resemble a thick cake batter.
  7. Take the skillet out of the oven and grease with either a dollop of butter or olive oil. Spread all around the base and at least halfway up the sides, and pour out any excess.
  8. Spread batter evenly in the skillet.
  9. Place skillet in oven and let bake for 25 minutes (if using a loaf tin, place in the oven for 50 minutes at 350 degrees, until a skewer tests clean).
  10. When done, let the cornbread sit in the skillet for 10 minutes to cool slightly and then turn it out onto a wire rack.
  11. Let sit for half an hour before cutting or it may crumble.

 

Suggested pairings:

This corn bread works well as sandwich bread, served with soup, in a cornbread stuffing, or with cranberry sauce/jam.

Combine the cornmeal and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up. While the cornmeal is soaking, sift the flour (with any necessary xanthan gum or chia meal), baking powder, salt and optional herbs into a separate bowl. Combine eggs and softened butter (the softer, the better) in another bowl. When the cornmeal and buttermilk have been sitting for ten minutes, add in first the wet ingredients and then gradually add and mix in the dry ingredients. Depending on your particular flours of choice, you may or may not need all of it. The mixture should resemble a thick cake batter. Take the skillet out of the oven and grease with either a dollop of butter or olive oil. Spread all around the base and at least halfway up the sides, and pour out any excess. Spread batter evenly in the skillet. Place skillet in oven and let bake for 25 minutes (if using a loaf tin, place in the oven for 50 minutes at 350 degrees, until a skewer tests clean). When done, let the cornbread sit in the skillet for 10 minutes to cool slightly and then turn it out onto a wire rack. Let sit for half an hour before cutting or it may crumble.   Suggested pairings: This corn bread works well as sandwich bread, served with soup, in a cornbread stuffing, or with cranberry sauce/jam.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 220; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 51mg; Sodium: 663mg; Potassium: 79mg; Carbohydrate: 29g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 5g

Nutrition Bonus:   Iron: 3%

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