Fourth Time’s the Charm

My church had a chili cook-off on Sunday. I didn’t think to bring my camera so there aren’t any pictures. Sorry about that.

Anyways, I volunteered to make cornbread because I figured cornbread would be easier than chili.

I was wrong.

My original plan was to make 2 batches – one sweet and one savory. For these, I followed the recipe in my Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It called for soaking the flour and cornmeal in buttermilk for 12-24 hours to break down the phytic acid and to make the grains easier to digest. I did all this.

After soaking the grains, I mixed in the other ingredients and into the oven went the first batch. The recipe said to bake the cornbread for an hour, but when I checked it after about 50 minutes, it was getting very dark so I stuck it with a toothpick (which came out clean!) and pulled it out to cool. After a bit, I flipped it out onto a cutting board so I could start on the next batch.

Once batch two was in the oven, I went to box up batch one, but when I cut into it, it was completely gooey on the inside! The outsides were extremely dry and crumbly, almost burnt, but the inside was still raw. Into the trash it went.

I left the 2nd batch in for the full 60 minutes, even thought it, too, seemed to be burning on the outside. Once again, my toothpick came out clean so I pulled it out and let it cool completely before turning it out of the pan.

Still no luck. It was also completely raw on the inside.

At this point, I had to find a new recipe since I didn’t have another 12-24 hours to soak more flour. Thank goodness for Google! I was worried that my glass pan was the problem (thoughts on this?) so I found a recipe I could make in my cast iron skillet. After all, the best cornbread is made that way, right?

Batch number 3 came out of the oven looking good, but when I went to flip it out of the pan, it completely fell apart. The crust detached from the bottom which stayed firmly stuck to the skillet. I’d melted the requisite tablespoon of butter in it before pouring in the batter so this made no sense to me.

It was now close to 10:00 p.m. so I did what any reasonable human would do. I sat on my floor and cried. All I wanted to do was to go to bed, but I couldn’t show up to church empty-handed when I’d promised to provide cornbread. So after a brief, and well-deserved meltdown, I started in on batch number four.

Success at last! It was cooked properly, not burnt, not raw. I learned my lesson and cut it in the skillet rather than trying to flip it out in one piece. I then very carefully removed each piece to ensure that none of them crumbled. I had finally achieved cornbread success. But I wasn’t done. I’d promised to bring a 9×13 pan and my skillet is only 9×9 so I had to make one last batch.

Then at long last I was finally able to go to bed.

I will never make cornbread again.

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22 October 2012. Tags: , , , . Real Food, That's Life.

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