Southern Corn Bread

Southern Corn Bread
This is a classic. It’s the perfect way to mop up your plate of chilli or any spicy stew really – and as it’s winter, there’s plenty of those going on in this house! It is also now my vegan topping of choice for my very own Mexican Pie (Chilli Pie, Tamale Pie – take your pick amigos). Corn bread bears more resemblance – both in method and texture – to a muffin than bread, and that’s fine by me. It takes no time to make – it’s a simple (and child friendly!) wet/dry mix that is poured into a brownie tin, although you could actually use a muffin tin for individual portions if you like. The vegan recipe below is a very simple version – but a handful of chopped jalapeños, cheese or corn are popular additions. Cornbread is usually served slightly warm alongside savoury dishes, although it is equally delicious with jam! I’d leave out any jalapeños if you’re planning to do that though…

You will need an 8″ or 9″ square tin, oiled and lined; alternatively you can use a well-oiled muffin tin.

125g plain flour
125g cornmeal (polenta)
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
300ml non-dairy milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp oil (sunflower is great)
Optional – half a cup of frozen sweetcorn and/or vegan grated cheese

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Preheat the oven to 210c/425f/gas mark 7. You’ll need to preheat the oven well in advance, as this mix only takes a couple of minutes to make! Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Separately, lightly combine the wet ingredients.

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Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and combine thoroughly. The batter should be relatively lump free, but don’t break your back over it.  Just make sure there are no dry bits remaining. Quickly stir in the cheese/corn if using. Pour into a prepared tin (or pour over chilli for Mexican Pie!) and place in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until lightly golden. It doesn’t need long and will easily dry out if you over-bake it. Cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes until you can comfortably remove it and slice it up. Best served warm. Cool any remaining slices and store in an airtight container for a day or so – warming them in the microwave for just a couple of seconds will revive them!
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