I’ve made it to bread #10 in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. This variation of corn bread was different than others I’ve had in the past, with the inclusion of corn kernels and…bacon. I made this bread over a week ago and am just blogging about it now, so my memory might be a little spotty about the procedure. Also, my camera battery was extremely low, so most pictures were taken in haste and in between short charging stints.
I thought this would be a semi-easy recipe, but it turned out to be quite a lot of work. I had to combine the corn meal and buttermilk and let it sit “overnight” (but instead, I mixed them at around 9am and then made the bread after work at around 4pm). Before I started making the batter, I also had to cook the strips of bacon and save the…bacon grease…for later use. Once the bacon was done, I mixed the dry and wet ingredients separately, then combined everything, along with the cornmeal/buttermilk.
I then mixed the corn kernels into the batter. You can’t really see them, but they’re there. The book called for fresh or frozen corn. I’m sure the fresh corn would have been a lot better but, unfortunately, we are in the wrong season.
While mixing the batter, I preheated the oven to 375 with Michael’s cast iron skillet inside. After the skillet warmed up, I took the leftover bacon grease and (sigh) used it to grease the bottom of the pan. After warming it up for a few more minutes, I poured the batter into the skillet and placed the crumbled bacon on top.
The book said to bake it for 30 minutes (I think)—I baked mine for about 40-45. It seemed done when I took it out, but I would later discover that it could have used an additional 10 minutes or so.
The bread was a little bit mushy in the center, which I was dissapointed about. It still tasted good that night, though, alongside some of Michael’s homemade chili. Some other bloggers said it was a noticeably sweet—and yes, even though it does contain granulated sugar and brown sugar (1/4 cup each), it wasn’t nearly as sweet as I had expected. All in all, I quite enjoyed it and would like to make it again and not undercook it the second time around.