BBA Challenge: Cornbread with Bacon

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The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter ReinhartI realized as I started this challenge that I had forgotten to mention the cinnamon and sticky buns, which I actually made for the first time two years ago with The Daring Bakers. Since I had made them for a previous challenge I decided I did not need to repost them, though I highly recommend the recipe as they were delicious.

Now for the cornbread. This is one challenge where I suspected Mr. Reinhart and I might butt heads. I grew up eating my Southern mother’s and grandmothers’ cornbread, which is definitely not sweet. For me, eating sweet cornbread is akin to eating dessert, at least some of the versions I’ve tasted. Reinhart’s recipe has granulated sugar, brown sugar, and honey, a triple punch of sweet, but I made it exactly as directed so I could get the full essence of what he intended.

I must report that though many of my fellow bakers greatly enjoyed the cornbread, it just didn’t strike my fancy. It is sweet, close in flavor to tomalito (sweet corn pudding or spoon bread), which is something I really like, thought the bacon adds enough savory to almost offset the sweet. But the combination of sweet, savory, and the texture didn’t thrill me, probably because we use cornbread as a base for beans or alongside chili. However I’m a grown up and I like to try new things and challenge my notions of how food should taste, and I can learn to appreciate foods that taste different than how I am accustomed to them, it just might take me a little while. Give me some time, Mr. Reinhart, and I may come around.

Thanks as always to Nicole of Pinch My Salt for organizing the BBA Challenge and Peter Reinhart for supporting our efforts. For more bread inspiration, check out the BBA Challenge photos in the BBA Challenge Flickr photo group.

Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Cornbread with Bacon (bacon photo)

Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Cornbread with Bacon (batter photo)

Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Cornbread with Bacon

Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Cornbread with Bacon

Other Breads from the BBA Challenge

Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Anadama Bread Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Christopsomos (Greek Christmas Bread) Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Whole Wheat and Rye Bagels

Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Brioche Muffins Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Casatiello Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Challah

Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Ciabatta Andrea Meyers - BBA Challenge: Cinnamon Walnut Raisin Bread Andrea Meyers - The Daring Bakers Do Cinnamon and Sticky Buns

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  1. says

    Hi Andrea,

    that cornbread looks lovely to me. Probably because I don’t have the Southern roots to influence my concept of cornbread.

    Would you try this recipe again at Thanksgiving, using fried turkey skin instead of bacon?

  2. De in D.C. says

    I actually prefer sweet cornbread (a bone of contention for my partner, who prefers it unsweetened like you), so this recipe would be perfect for me.

  3. says

    I grew up in the north and didn’t know until my 20s that cornbread could anything other than sweet. Such ignorance!

    And I have to say that I’ve grown to prefer it unsweetened, especially when it’s alongside some good barbeque or chili.

    Casual Kitchen

  4. Andrea Paysinger says

    Your cornbread sounds like a winner!
    I’m a fanatic about cornbread and I did grow up in the south, born and raised on a farm in western Kentucky that included a mill where corn was ground for home use as well as for other farmers in the area. (I’m 70)
    I’ve never used a specific recipe because I didn’t learn with one buy by watching my grandpa’s cook make cornbread.
    I have been buying heirloom organic dried corn and milling my own for several years because the variation in the size of the grains produces a result that is much nearer to the cornbread of my childhood than from any commercial product.
    I use bacon drippings or lard – I’ve never worried about cholesterol and the flavor is so much better than with other fats.
    I don’t include flour or baking powder either.
    The cornbread is probably more dense than many people like but it had to be that way so it could hold together when dipped into the bean soup..VBG Some of my friends think I take things a bit too far but at my age I feel I am entitled to have what I want.

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