Spicy Northern Cornbread.
I’m on a sort of unofficial mission to bake my way through Baking Illustrated. So far I’ve been almost exclusively focused on the quick bread chapter and the spicy cornbread was no exception. I went out and bought new cornmeal and put my red peppers to use.
I’ve roasted large sweet peppers before but never small spicy peppers. The process was exactly the same. I placed the peppers under the broiler until they started to char. Then placed the hot peppers in a paper bag for twenty minutes. This made the skin of the pepper easy to slide off.
Once they were skinned, I sliced them in half and removed the seeds. Then it was just a matter of chopping them all up. The finished product was quite small and I found myself wondering if it would really lend anything to the bread.
I mixed up my wet and dry ingredients. When I was folding the batter to combine them, I added the chopped peppers halfway through.
Then it was just a matter of pouring the batter into a buttered baking dish. The recipe called for a metal pan but my kitchen arsenal does not include a pan of that size. Oh well.
When I took the cornbread out of the oven, it seemed relatively normal. You could barely see the peppers. But the taste? Mildly spicy if you had a bite with no direct piece of pepper. With the pepper, oh boy, there was a kick. It caught my husband off guard.
It was light and fluffy and packed a punch. We didn’t even put any butter on it. I picked out the pieces of pepper and my fifteen month old enjoyed it, too. We even had some left over to go with lunch the next day.
It was something different that’s for sure. Given that I love both spicy food and bread, I enjoyed this opportunity to combine both and use up some of my peppers. Now I can’t wait to try out the Southern Cornbread which is supposed to be much denser and richer, which is what I think of when I think cornbread.