Vegan Corn Bread
Don’t expect the high rise of eggy cornbread, but do expect a delicious cornbread that’s moist and flavorful. This is great with soups, chili, or as a base for taco filling. Be sure to bake it just until a tester comes out clean and no longer. Overbaking this, or any cornbread, will make it too dry and crumbly.
1 c. unbleached white or whole-wheat flour
1/2 c. organic yellow cornmeal
1/2 c. white grits or masarepa (fine white cornmeal)
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. plus 1 T. warm water
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3 T. pure cane sugar
1 t. fine kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9″ round pie pan, a 9″ cast iron skillet or an 8″ square baking pan. Mix the flour, cornmeals, and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together water, oil, sugar, salt, and optional ingredients, if using (see below). Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and combine with a fork, just until everything is well incorporated. Try not to over mix because it will create a denser, heavier bread. Pour the bread batter into your prepared pan of choice and bake it for about 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife or tester comes out clean. Again, don’t over bake!
While the bread is hot pierce all around with a sharp knife or skewer and dot the top with margarine, allowing it to melt into the bread.
Serve immediately or at room temperature. Leftover bread can be toasted or used as you would leftover polenta. Simply heat slices in the oven or toaster and top with stew, chili, or whatever comes to mind.
Optional additions to your cornbread might include chopped scallions, chives, jalapeño, roasted red pepper, cumin, or vegetarian “bacon” bits. 1/4 to 1/2 cup of any one or combination of ingredients will work well. Jalapeño or any intensely hot addition should be added by the tablespoon until the desired level of heat is attained.