Monday, December 9, 2013

Spelt Cornbread

a dab of butter

This cornbread is not perfect. It's crumbly, and leaves trails of golden crumbs after each bite, scattered across the plate and, quite possibly, your lap. I wouldn't have it any other way, though. Whatever points it loses in messiness, it makes up for in deliciousness. It's nutty, slightly sweet, and has just enough of a trace of butteriness to make it both hearty and comforting.

It's just what you want next to your bowl of steaming soup, with a dab of melting butter, the exact kind of meal I'm craving these days. Outside, the street is wet and covered in the remains of the first real snow of the season. It's been one of those drab days, where everything appears to be shaded in grey and the sun is just a muted light in the sky, like a lamp with a curtain over it.

I took my roommate's dog to the park, and in less than twenty minutes my feet had turned to ice inside my rubber boots. We ran back to the apartment, where I threw my boots off and began stomping around and cursing (with my usual elegance and grace) as the blood flow slowly returned to my toes. There always comes a day when I realize I cannot wear nice shoes anymore, that the few stylish pieces of footwear I own must go into the closet for hibernation, and out must come the heavy winter boots. It's that very day that I suddenly become aware of what the coming months will entail - the slogging through slush, the inevitable wet feet, the chill that creeps in under your collar as you're walking home at night, the days bookended by dark mornings and pitch black evenings.

Clearly I'm a bucket of joy.

But winter isn't without its merits, one of them being the experience of coming out of the cold and into a warm house, and sitting down to a bowl of soup and crumbly cornbread. It's not much, but sometimes it's the joy of such small moments that bring us the most happiness.

golden, crumbly cornbread

Spelt Cornbread
Adapted from Food52
This cornbread is a little bit sweet, crumbly, and delicious. The spelt flour lends it a bit of nuttiness, but you can swap in whole wheat or even all-purpose flour if you prefer. It's perfect with soup, or simply slathered with butter.

1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (I used almond)
3/4 cup plain yogurt (any fat content)

cornbread, the beginning whisking more whisking
whisk, whisk, whisk a bit of milk and yogurt
then whisk it even more add the wet to dry stir
delicious golden batter ready to bake cornbread fresh out of the oven

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar to form a slurry. Whisk in the eggs, then the milk and yogurt.

4. Pour the wet ingredients in the dry, and mix until completely incorporated. The batter will be thick and sticky.

5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, then bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the bread springs back when you poke it in the centre with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving. This cornbread is best the day it's made, but will last for at least 3 days, stored in an sealed plastic bag or container.

classic cornbread

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