We're going through one the coldest spells of the year right now in Canada. I do admit those of us in Elgin County don't have it as bad as Manitoban's, but it's still cold enough that the dogs are not wasting any time running outside to take care of their business. When Old Man Winter rears his fierce force in the month of January, comfort food is what I crave. Big, steaming bowls of butternut squash soup or a pot of five-bean chili is much appreciated to get rid of the chills. I like bread with my soups, and a quick & easy fix to that need is tender, crumbly corn muffins- fresh baked from the oven. They take minutes to prepare, and only twenty minutes to bake. Read more to get the recipe.
What's a Quick-Bread?
Corn muffins are prepared by using the 'quick-bread' method of baking. 'Quick-breads' usually depend upon a leavening agent such as baking powder to rise, as there isn't any yeast in the recipe. The dry ingredients are mix together in one bowl, and the wet ingredients are mix together in another. Then you pour the wet into the dry, stir to combine, then bake. Quick & easy! Most recipes for banana bread and muffins follow the same method. The recipe below for corn muffins is a basic formula. Feel free to experiment with flavours by adding different spices or small pieces of chopped cheese, pepper, ham, or corn kernels to the dry ingredients before adding the wet. If you leave the muffins as is- they make a great substitute for toast in the morning- especially with homemade jam.
Corn Muffins- Recipe
1 c all-purpose unbleached flour
1 c corn meal (medium ground)
1/4 c sugar (you can lessen the amount to 2 T or substitute honey or maple syrup instead if you prefer)
1 T baking powder
1 t kosher salt
1 c milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
butter for greasing pan
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 12 tin muffin pan with a thin layer of butter. Set aside.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl (flour, corn meal, baking powder, sugar, salt). Mix wet ingredients together in another smaller bowl (milk, oil, egg).
3. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir to combine. Only stir enough to evenly distribute moisture- if you over mix you will end up with chewy muffins and air 'tunnels'.
4. Once the batter is mixed, use a 1/4 c measure to scoop and pour batter into the greased muffin tins. Try not to fill the tins more than 3/4 full, so you may have to adjust how much batter to use. If you don't get 12 muffins- that's okay. Place the pan into the pre-heated oven and set a time for 10 minutes. Once the timer is up, rotate pans and re-set timer for another 10 minutes.
5. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out without any crumbs or batter sticking to it. If they are not done baking, place back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. Once finished, allow muffins to rest for 10 minutes in the pan.
6. Using a small knife, take the blade of the knife and run it around the outside edge of each muffin. Turn the tin upside-down, and the muffins should fall out easily. Serve warm in a cloth-lined basket. Store extras in a resealable container and re-heat before serving.
Add 1 t paprika and 1 c a corn kernels to recipe. Pour into greased cast iron pan to make a 'loaf' or jonny-cake instead of muffins. Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.