How to Make Cornbread Without Cornmeal
Looking to make cornbread without cornmeal? Lend us your ears...
It’s chili season. And whether you like your chili spicy, with black beans and corn chips; simple, with pinto beans and Cheddar; punched up with bacon and cocoa; Texas-style without beans; served over spaghetti; spiced with eight chiles; speedy enough for a weeknight; or slow-cooked to coax out the flavors, there’s one thing every pot of chili needs: cornbread.
But what if you find yourself with chili bubbling on the stove and no cornmeal in sight? We've got you covered. We set out to make the perfect cornbread without cornmeal. Sure, a tin of cornbread is easier when you’ve got a some boxed mix or a bag of cornmeal nearby. But there are ways to make great cornbread without any cornmeal.
First, it’s important to know what cornmeal is. Cornmeal is simply dried and ground corn. Typically ground to a fine consistency, cornmeal can range in texture from fine to coarse, and the texture of the grind changes the texture of things you use it for. Cornmeal is the base for polenta — typically made with medium-grind cornmeal — as well as grits — which come from very coarsely ground dried corn. (Corn flour is another name for finely ground dried corn.)
With that in mind, it’s time to figure out a swap for cornmeal that won’t cut out that rich corny flavor and fluffy texture. To get it, we tested several methods for fluffiness and that distinct corn flavor, and decided to go to cornmeal’s original source: fresh corn.
After testing various methods for cornbread recipes without cornmeal, we discovered that fresh corn is the best way to achieve classic baked cornbread with great corn flavor when you don't have cornmeal on hand. We blended the kernels from 2 ears of corn along with sour cream, whole milk, unsalted butter and 2 eggs, whisking the mix into a bowl of standard dry ingredients — flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. We baked it in a buttered baking dish (for about 30 minutes) without mixing anything in, but this batter is versatile, and will also taste great with shredded cheese, jalapenos, scallions or even crumbled bacon. Once baked, the resulting bread is a sunny yellow that’s fluffy and appealing on its own with a pat of sweet butter, or ideal plunged into a hearty bowl of chili.
Think you can’t make cornbread without cornmeal? No problem! We use sweet in-season corn and blend it up with milk and sour cream to deliver all that good corn flavor, even without cornmeal. Don't hold back if you get the craving to stir a little Cheddar, scallions and crispy bacon in there, as well.