Category: baking

Cornbread (and Bison Chili)

The success of the Homemade English Muffins, had me wanting to explore the Bread Baker’s Apprentice even more.  It being winter (a relative term in Southern California), a dinner of Chili and Cornbread seemed like a good idea.  The BBA cornbread is no Jiffy Mix cornbread though.  It takes 2 days to make and has a special ingredient full of win.  Yes, the love of hipsters from SE Portland to Williamsburg, Brooklyn…Bacon!

The night before baking, I started a soaker of polenta and buttermilk.  After soaking overnight the rest of the ingredients are mixed together and crumbled on top, 10 slices of thick cut bacon.

In the spirit of trying to eat locally and ethically, I picked up a pound of ground bison at the Hollywood Farmers Market.  With this I made a simple red bean and meat chili to have alongside the cornbread.  Both were excellent, especially as leftovers the next couple days (though the chili did outlast the cornbread).

I made this almost a month ago, so unfortunately the details of the cooking/baking are a little short.

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Homemade English Muffins

My friend Nicole is behind this little event called the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge (aka BBA Challenge).  Basically, she picked a cookbook about bread baking and is baking through the recipes.  When she posted this idea on Twitter, it took off, and now folks around the world are baking alongside her.

After a few months of seeing (and tasting the Focaccia) the wonderful breads Nicole was making, I decided to pick up a copy of the book myself.  I’m may not end up baking completely through the book, but I’m going to try to make it through most of them.

I decided my first bread would be English Muffins partially because the recipe was pretty simple, but also because you grill them instead of actually baking them.

Mine ended up a little denser than Nicole’s English Muffins looked, and definitely denser than store bought, but they still tasted really good.  My muffins also were a little inconsistent on the color, but I attribute that mostly to the fluctuating temperature on my gas stove/cast iron pan.

For that first one, I toasted it and spread some butter and my grandpa’s homemade huckleberry jam.  It was fantastic!

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