Wednesday, October 14, 2015


In yesterday's post I called into question the average young man's ability to convert raw, "native" materials into food.

Today, I will see if I can meet the challenge.

Three ears of dried corn from my garden.  They are of mixed parentage but have a goodly dose of Iowa Silvermine and Santo Domingo Blue, then back selected for earliness and white kernels.  These ears are not good enough to save for seed.  Average weight of 11 ounces each.

Shelled and dried.  The ears yielded an average of 8 ounces of shelled corn.
The grinder.
First pass.

Second pass.

Third pass.  Total time elapsed, about 25 minutes.  Each pass went faster then the one before it.
A very basic recipe.  12 ounces all purpose baking mix (i.e., rising flour)

12 ounces corn meal.  Blend dry with all purpose, rising flour.

Sixteen ounces of well water.  Mix just enough to thoroughly wet the flour/cornmeal mix and gently decant into the baking pan.
35 minutes at 350F

The pale color is due to the lack of soluble protein and sugars needed to drive the Maillard reaction (carmalize...browning.)  Using milk instead of water, or adding eggs PLUS adding some table sugar would have made this cornbread much more photogenic.


A key point in science is to make predictions and then to measure results to see if your "science" has functional, predictive ability.

I predict that:
  • This cornbread will be edible
  • It will be flat tasting compared to commercial muffin/cornbread mixes due to less salt and sugar
  • It will be drier than commercial mixes due to less shortening
  • It will have an objectionable amount of bran in it
I will attempt to capture an impartial test subject's (Mrs ERJ) observations.  One important parameter is "How much butter..." is required to make it palatable.  Excellent cornbread does not beg for any butter.  Awful cornbread requires great slabs of butter to lubricate the passage down the gullet.  I will let you know how much butter Mrs ERJ uses.

Making cornbread using commercial baking mix is not "austere" but home-ground corn would certainly be a viable way to extend supplies of wheat flour.

1 comment:

  1. AND... if you'd been saving your bacon grease...adding that into the mix would also have improved consistency and TASTE! (Why use shortening or vegetable oil, when you can use bacon grease or sausage drippings?!?)

    Eagerly awaiting Mrs. ERJ's assessment..


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