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festive cornbread

I've been at it for a while now, trying to make a good whole grain cornbread (as in absolutely no all purpose flour).  the kind that doesn't fall apart when you cut into it, creating a trail of crumbs from pan to plate.  the kind an older generation would approve of, not rolling their eyes at another "healthy" version of an old favorite.  this bread combines cornmeal, oat flour and whole wheat pastry flour without being stubbornly 'whole wheat'.  its festive, with flecks of red tomatoes and green onions, rich with asiago cheese, butter and eggs, and earthly as only corn can be.  but really, its the cumin spiked green onions (credit is owed to kim boyce of good to the grain) that set this thing off.  make it early and serve at room temperature and certainly don't resist having it with your morning eggs.

2 tsp cumin
1 Tbl butter
1 1/2 cups green onions
1 cup corn meal*
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup oat flour*
2 Tbl rapadura sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup asiago cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups whole milk yogurt, room temp
2 eggs, room temp
4 Tbl unsalted butter, melted
8 x 13" baking dish or muffin tins


Heat oven to 350 degrees and butter a baking dish or muffing tins.  measure out yogurt and eggs, whisk to combine and set aside to come to room temperature.  slice the green onions from end to end, including all the white and green parts.  dry roast cumin seeds in a saute pan over medium heat until their aroma begins to rise and the seeds brown and pop, about two minutes, immediately adding 1 Tbl butter at the end. if you have ground cumin use 1 tsp and constantly shake or stir the powder while sauteing to avoid burning it.  once the butter has melted, add the onions, stirring in and continuing to cook over medium heat until the onions begin to soften and develop a translucent sheer.  set aside to cool.  at this time, you'll want to melt the remaining 4 Tbl butter and set aside to cool as well (keeping the two separate).

Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour, rapadura, baking soda, baking powder and salt and sift into a large bowl.  gently whisk to mix.  add the diced dried tomatoes and the grated cheese, whisk together again.  i say use a whisk because i find a small whisk to be the best tool to combine dry ingredients.  with a light hand, it smoothly incorporates the ingredients and keeps them from lumping together.

Using a spatula, add the sauteed onion mixture to the dry ingredients.  beat together the set aside 4 Tbl melted butter and the previously whisked yogurt and eggs and add to the flour and onion batter.  gently mix until just combined.  the batter will puff up thanks to the baking powder/soda mixture.  spread out into your baking dish or scoop by 1/3 cup into muffin tins.  bake in your hot oven for 35-40 minutes, a little less for muffins (30-35). i set the timer for half the time, turn the pan 180 degrees, then set the timer for the remaining time.  this ensures even baking.  remove from the oven when the top has turned golden and the edges have browned and crept away from the sides of the pan.  serve hot with a bowl of lentils or room temp the next morning with dylans steamed eggs and greens.

*I keep a stash of whole grains in the pantry, like polenta and oat groats and grind them in the vita mix just before using.  its not an even grind, but i use a sifter to keep out the chunks and am left with exceptionally fresh and vital flour.  its a good idea to do this step first, as fresh grinding heats up the flour and it needs to cool down before continuing.

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