Friday, June 21, 2013

Rosemary Cornbread

In the last bakery shop I worked, they would make only one or two tins of cornbread late in the morning when the black oven got comparatively less busy. There were always a few customers who used to drop by and ask for that bread. When I handed the bread to them, I remember very clearly, they would smell it first to see if the chef used any Swiss chard leaves in particular. At first I couldn't get why they insisted on that detail. Later, one of those few customers, a middle-aged man who moved to Istanbul from a smaller city in the Black Sea Region, told me that his grandmother in his hometown used to bake cornbread with a few Swiss chard leaves placed into the baking pan which gave the bread its fabulous smell and flavour. So, the chef who would bake cornbread in the shop always placed a few leaves of collard greens into the pans on demand and the taste was always exceptional and the customers were always happy.

Well, we bought some cornmeal some time ago from a farmer and when I saw it all those memories revived in a split second. I wanted to make my own cornbread right away but I didn't have any greens at home. Since I wanted to flavour the bread anyhow, I decided to use rosemary leaves instead. It worked so well that I ate it up with yogurt alone. When I told a friend of mine how I made the bread, it iinspired her to make rosemary cornbread as well. Here comes the recipe.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves

Preparation Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 200 C degrees.
2. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir together.
3. Measure the buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add the egg. Stir together with a fork. Add the baking soda and stir.
4. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until combined.
5. In a small bowl, melt 1/4 shortening. Slowly add melted shortening to the batter, stirring until just combined. 
6. In an iron skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening over medium heat. Grease 20cmX12.5cm loaf tin with it. 
7. Pour the batter into the tin. Spread to even out the surface. 
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. 
9. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

You can vary the recipe by adding other ingredients. Try it with cheese and you won't regret!



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