Day 24: a brunch treat for the Sunday morning. My imaginary friend, Betty Crocker, has proper respect for quick breads like this, devoting a whole section of her early 60’s cookbook to them, illustrated with super-saturated photographs. The text suggests that eating cornbread will put you in touch with America’s pioneer roots. Perhaps, but what’s really great is that it is ready to eat from scratch within half an hour. This one is sweetened with maple syrup and has a mild flavour: it’s not aggressively salty, sweet or bitter like some. The trick lies in making your own instant vegan buttermilk: the acid means less raising agent is needed. And in making sure you sieve the bicarbonate of soda – or at least pulverise any lumps with your fingers or the back of a spoon. That way you avoid chemically loaded patches in your cornbread. Try it with jam, syrup or chilli sin carne.
400 ml vegan milk
2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
175 gr cornmeal
130 gr flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
half tsp salt
60 ml maple syrup
80 ml coconut oil plus extra for greasing the tin
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and lightly grease a 20 x 20 cm square tin with deep sides (or other shape with similar capacity).
Mix the milk and vinegar.
Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and get rid of any lumps.
Warm the coconut oil, maple syrup and soured milk slightly so that the oil melts.
Pour it over the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.