As always with our Knead the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Fast Breads to give away this week. Enter the contest here.
These corn sticks from Fast Breads use just a little bit of flour with a higher proportion of cornmeal. so they have a crisp crust and a soft interior. The recipe is made for use in a corn stick pan, so it probably wouldn't fare well in a regular pan. If you don't have a corn stick pan, there's also a recipe in the book for standard cornbread.
What Worked: The batter filled the pan exactly, which was a pleasant surprise. Usually there's some batter left over from any recipe.
What Didn't: I didn't adjust for high altitude (I'm based in Colorado), so these rose a little too much and the texture could have been better. I'm sure they'd be fine for lowlanders.
Suggested Tweaks: I'm always tempted to add things to cornbread. Some peppers would be nice.
Adapted from Fast Breads by Elinor Klivans. Copyright © 2010. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved
- Yield:Makes 7 corn sticks
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:25 minutes
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp corn or canola oil plus 1 tbsp
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup fine-grind stone-ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, any fat content
- 1 large egg
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425ºF. Have ready a heavyweight corn stick pan with 7 openings.
In a small pan, melt the butter with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Use a pastry brush to brush the pan openings generously with the butter-oil mixture. Heat the pan in the oven for 5 minutes while you mix the batter.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, egg, and the remaining 1 tbsp oil and use a large spoon to stir the batter slowly just to combine the ingredients. You will see some small lumps; that’s okay.
Remove the pan from the oven and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each opening. The batter will fill to the rim.
Bake until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a corn stick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. The bottoms of the corn sticks will be browned. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a small, sharp knife and your fingers to loosen the edges of the sticks and carefully remove the sticks from the pan to the rack. Do not turn the pan upside down to release the corn sticks because it could weigh them down and may break them. Serve warm.
The corn sticks can be baked a day ahead, covered, and left at room temperature. To serve, preheat the oven to 275ºF and reheat the sticks, uncovered, until warm, about 10 minutes.