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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

corn meal vs corn meal mix

I was planning to make cornbread from scratch for the first time, when I came across not only corn meal, but corn meal mix. What's that about?

Corn meal mix is corn meal that contains baking powder, salt, and some flour. It's specially formulated for baking, similar to self rising flour.

There were three kinds: white, yellow, and buttermilk.

I didn't know which one to get, so I got white AND yellow, intending to try them both.

Tonight I made my first scratch cornbread, with the yellow corn meal mix, following the included recipe.

I've always used and sworn by Jiffy mix. As a result, I'm used to a fluffy, sweet cornbread.

The cornbread from Cracker Barrel is grainy and not at all sweet. I don't like it.

This cornbread was fluffy, probably due to the flour, but not sweet enough.

Next time I'll use 1/2 cup sugar instead of the recommended 1/4 cup.

Here's the recipe:

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil*
1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal mix**
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar***

*You could also use melted Crisco or melted butter.

**Since it's corn meal mix, you don't need baking powder or salt. If it was just regular cornmeal, you would need to add your own.

***Next time I'll try 1/2 cup sugar. Then it'll probably be perfect.

Mix all the ingredients, pour into a cast iron skillet, bake at 450.

The recipe on the white corn meal mix package is different. When I make that recipe, I'll post it.

Then again, that recipe calls for no sugar or flour, so I might not like it.

So I think I'll stick to this recipe, and experiment with substituting white corn meal mix for yellow, and buttermilk for milk.

Apparently, "Southern Cornbread" is made with no flour or sugar, while "Northern Cornbread" contains flour and sugar.

And some insist that only "southern cornbread" is real cornbread. To each his own.

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