Light and Fluffy Egg-less Cornbread

24 April 2009 Filed In: bread, Breads, cooking class, corn, Fall, Soy-free, Spring, Summer, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

My Southern friends will roll their eyes.  My Southern ancestors will roll in their graves, but this cornbread is, well, worth breaking the rules.  You see in the South, adding even a dash of sugar to your cornbread is considered an offense and presents you, clear as day, as a Yankee.  If they have good manners, they’ll never say anything to you about it.  In private, though, my Gran even used to sort of laugh at the idea of sweetening your cornbread as if it were some sign of lunacy or ill-breeding.

While there are some traditions that I want to maintain (and my Gran’s cornbread recipe will remain a family secret ; ), here I am teaching New Yorkers to cook and starting new traditions for them to make and to carry on with their families.  
One of the young New Yorkers in my Friday class, Truman, has a severe egg allergy.  He cannot even be around an egg without starting to itch and swell.  When thinking about some of the things that I might make with him and his fellow mini-chefs, the cornbread at Angelica Kitchen came to mind.  Angelica’s, as its usuals call it, is a vegan place in the East Village.  It happened to be right across the street from my old apartment and served as my local deli for years-miso soup for when I was too sick to cook, soba noodles to slurp on hot summer days, and this inappropriately named “Southern style” cornbread onto which I’d go home and heap butter and honey.  
Below is our tinkered with recipe.  The Wednesday mini-chefs did their thing this week, and we attempted again to measure and whisk and stir our way to a big cast iron pan full of cornbread.  Somehow, somewhere, too much flour was added.  I mention this only because, if you are working with a big group of Yummies or with very young ones, you might want to consider measuring at least some of the ingredients out ahead of time.  With a little doctoring from me, my lovely assistant Jessica, and Mama Suzy, we got our bread back on track.  Served with honey butter or carrot-apple-ginger spread, it is so good.  My husband even spotted one mom and her son (though, to protect their identity, we won’t mention names) honking down their cornbread on the street.  LOVE IT!
Light and Fluffy Egg-less Cornbread

*2 c. cornmeal (a little coarser grind if possible)
*1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
*1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
*1 T. + 1 t. baking powder
*2 t. salt
*2/3 c. maple syrup (the real stuff)
*2 c. milk, room temperature
*1/2 c. olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  

Have your mini-chef paint the bottom and sides of your cast iron pan with butter or oil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, measure out all of the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt), and in another smaller bowl, measure out all of the wet ones.  You might note how the wet ingredients will slosh if you tap the bowl while the dry ones will make a flour cloud if you tap too hard (and maybe set aside a couple more bowls for your mini-chef to play with this concept).

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir them together till just combined.  Now pour the whole mixture into your cast iron pan.  

Big Person: Bake your cornbread for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.

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  1. 5 Star Foodie
    24/04/2009 at 2:01 pm Permalink

    This cornbread sounds delicious! I like the egg-less part – we don’t have allergies but always try to eliminate cholesterol.

  2. The Duo Dishes
    24/04/2009 at 6:09 pm Permalink

    We find the North vs. South cornbread stories to be so funny. We grew up in the South on Jiffy cornbread, which is basically cake! Even when people would make it from scratch, they add a tablespoon or so of white sugar. Guess it just depends on what part of the South you’re from. Regardless, we love cornbread no matter how it comes. It’s one of those hard to resist breads.

  3. jane
    24/04/2009 at 8:20 pm Permalink

    I´m so trying this. Thanks!

  4. Cate
    25/04/2009 at 2:32 pm Permalink

    so great, duo dishes…we were clearly not allowed Jiffy, so i never had that delicacy. probably would’ve liked it better since i have a major sweet tooth. what can i say? my gran grew up on a farm with amazing food and an amazing chef-it seems that, in addition to being a mother of many many children, my great-grandmother was very talented in the kitchen.

    this no-sugar in the cornbread prejudice, it seems, spans the southern states though. ask around to your southern friends. my gran had strange streaks of prudishness not limited to but very much including her taste in food-and this from a woman who packed heat and referred to hot dogs as, “tits and a$$”. gotta love the south for that. it does breed the best sorts of characters.