Craving cornmeal: 5 bakes from cornbread to cookies

NNicholas September 21, 2023 7:12 AM

Is there anything cornmeal can't do? From the classic cornbread to crumbly cookies, cornmeal adds a unique texture and flavor to a variety of bakes. Here are five mouthwatering recipes to satisfy your cornmeal cravings.

Cornmeal: A baking staple

Cornmeal, ground from dried corn, is a staple in many cultures around the world. In the United States, it's most commonly associated with Southern cooking, but its versatility extends far beyond that. Whether sweet or savory, cornmeal lends a delightful crunch and a warm, earthy flavor to your baked goods.

1. Classic cornbread

There's nothing quite like a slice of homemade cornbread, especially when it's still warm from the oven. A basic cornbread recipe typically calls for cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, and oil or butter. Some people prefer a sweeter cornbread, while others like it more savory, so feel free to adjust the sugar to your taste.

2. Cornmeal cookies

Cornmeal isn't just for savory dishes— it's also a fantastic ingredient in sweet baked goods, like cookies. Cornmeal cookies have a delicate crunch and a slight corn flavor that pairs wonderfully with additions like citrus zest, dried fruit, and nuts. You can also experiment with different types of cornmeal, like blue or yellow, to add a splash of color to your cookies.

3. Savory cornmeal muffins

Savory cornmeal muffins make a great addition to any meal. Add ingredients like cheese, jalapenos, or bacon to the batter for extra flavor. You can also use a muffin recipe as a base to create your own cornmeal creations—just be sure to keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients the same.

4. Cornmeal pancakes

For a hearty breakfast, look no further than cornmeal pancakes. They're thicker and heartier than traditional pancakes, with a delightful corn flavor that pairs well with both sweet and savory toppings. Try them with pure maple syrup and fresh berries, or top with a fried egg and bacon for a savory twist.

5. Cornmeal pizza crust

Making a pizza crust from cornmeal gives it a unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from traditional wheat crusts. The crust is thin and crispy, with a hint of sweetness that complements a variety of toppings. Plus, it's a great gluten-free alternative if you're avoiding wheat.

Cornmeal baking tips

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your cornmeal bakes:

  • Choose the right cornmeal: Different recipes call for different types of cornmeal, from finely ground to coarsely ground. Make sure to use the type specified in the recipe for the best results.

  • Store properly: Keep your cornmeal in a cool, dark place, and seal it tightly to prevent moisture from getting in. Cornmeal can go rancid if not stored properly.

  • Experiment: Don't be afraid to experiment with different types of cornmeal and flavor additions. Baking is all about creativity, and cornmeal is a versatile ingredient that can handle a variety of flavors.

Whether you're a seasoned baker or just starting out, there's a cornmeal recipe out there for everyone. So why wait? Get baking and satisfy your cornmeal cravings today.

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