Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cornier Cornbread

My husband loves cornbread. I love the idea of cornbread. But usually it’s a false promise—rarely does it deliver the earthy, corny flavor I crave. So the last time I was whipping up a batch of cornbread to go with some chili, I got to thinking…Certain chili recipes rely on masa harina for thickening…Masa has big flavor, and masa and chiles are the perfect pairing…Why not make a side of cornbread using masa harina instead of cornmeal?

Turns out it works beautifully well. The result is a thoroughly satisfying cornbread, and I may never go back to cornmeal cornbread again.

Cheesy Masa Cornbread
Printable Recipe

2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the baking dish
6 ounces masa harina
4 ounces all-purpose flour
½ ounce sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces milk, at room temperature
6 ounces buttermilk, at room temperature
4 ounces cheddar, finely diced

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk together the masa harina, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, buttermilk, and butter in a medium bowl. Add the egg mixture to the masa harina mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the cheddar. Transfer to the baking dish and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges of the cornbread start to shrink away from the baking dish and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly, cut into portions, and serve.

Serves 6 to 8. Masa harina for tamales, which has a coarse texture, is best here. This cornbread happily straddles the lines between Southern, Southwestern, and Mexican food, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to a big bowl of Real Texas Chili.


Jaclyn said...

This is genius! I love cornbread so I need to try this, and lucky for me I have all the ingredients =).

Unknown said...

This sounds great but is there actually any corn in the cornbread or am I missing something? Jackie

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

Galexi Cupcakes,
Of course there is—masa harina is a corn product. It's the stuff used to make corn tortillas and tamales.

Unknown said...

oh ok..gotcha!! I should know that being Puerto Rican and all!! Duh!!
Well, I'm making this recipe tonight to enjoy while watching the game.. Thanks for sharing.

Irina said...

Truly genius and it looks wonderful! I am making it with Chili Verde this week.

Katie said...

I've been wanting to try masa harina lately, so it looks like I have no excuse not to now!

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) said...

What a great idea! I totally agree, many cornbreads are more sugary than full of corn flavor. I definitely want to try these, I'm always looking for an improved cornbread recipe.

Bryan and YiRan said...

Great idea - next time I make cornbread, I'll use my masa harina instead. In the summer, when you get fresh corn on the cob, try taking off some of the corn and mixing that in as well. Gives the cornbread a great sweet crunch and awesome consistency.

Matt Jackson @ said...

This looks awesome - I love cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet so will give this a try!

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