Recipe Review: Yeast-raised Cornbread

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We were immediately intrigued by this Yeast-raised Cornbread by Heidi of 101 Cookbooks. It looked different - a cornbread that wasn't cakey or heavy. This is made with a yeast dough, unlike most cornbreads, which are quick breads leavened with baking powder.

Heidi said that she had been working on this cornbread recipe for a long time, and her photos showed a light, moist bread with a golden crust. It was worth a try.

We made it last week to go with a homestyle dinner of pork slow-cooked with anise and white wine, broccoli steamed with soy sauce, and Herbed Skillet Sweet Potatoes. The plan was to serve the bread with some of that terribly good Browned Butter.

To see the changes we made and the final outcome of the bread, click through...

Changes:
• I used white bread flour instead of the white whole wheat.
• Instead of 2 cups of fresh corn, I used 1 can (15 ounces) of hominy, chopped fine in the food processor.
• I left out the chives because my dinner party included children who would have objected, most likely, to the appearance of green somethings in their bread.

Process:
I had no trouble with Heidi's recipe and instructions. Everything went straight into the KitchenAid, which kneaded everything without any help from me. I even ignored Heidi's instructions to knead it a bit on the counter, with no ill effects. It rose very well in the time she notes.

Instead of baking it in the small rolls she shows with the recipe, I shaped the dough into two loaves and did the second rise in standard loaf pans. These took about 45 minutes to bake at 375F. To be sure they were done I checked their internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. When they hit about 200F inside, they're done.

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Result:
Easy, lovely, and delicious cornbread. It's a strange yet wonderful mix of a plain yeasted bread, with that moist rise and light texture, and a textured golden cornbread. This is best straight out of the oven. When it's hot it's soft and fluffy. After a day or two it becomes more aggressively corn-flavored and rougher in texture. If you're going to eat it after it's a day old, toast it. It makes incredible toast.