Sage-y Cornbread

Got to the grocery store too late the day before Thanksgiving, and discovered that they're out of Stove Top Stuffing Mix? Need an emergency back-up plan? (Originally posted to Facebook ~ Thanksgiving 2016, only now getting around to posting it to the blog.)

Part 1
  • 1.5 cups corn meal
  • 0.5 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder (4 tsp)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 0.75 tsp salt
  • ~ 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a mixing bowl.

Part 2
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
Pour about a tbsp of cooking oil (canola, etc) in a 9x9 pyrex baking dish. Use a paper towel to thoroughly coat the inside of the dish with oil.

Put a stick of butter in the dish and
  • microwave it for 3 minutes on 10% power (soften it, don't liquify it)
Add one raw egg and one cup of milk
  • to the dry ingredients and mix them thoroughly
Add the softened butter
  • to the mixing bowl and mix it some more

Part 3

  1. I wait to preheat the oven since that gives the batter more time to rise.
  2. I preheat the (greased!) Pyrex dish with the oven to keep the cornbread from sticking later.

Stick the empty Pyrex dish in the oven and
  • preheat it to 350 degrees
Once the oven has preheated
  • remove the Pyrex dish
  • pour/scrape the batter into the dish
  • pat it down so it's basically flat
Put the dish back in the oven and bake the cornbread
  • at 350 degrees
  • for 40 minutes

Let the cornbread cool for a few minutes.

  • Typically white flour is used as the second ingredient in cornbread, but I always use spelt, which is pretty similar to ordinary whole wheat flour.
  • If you want to do a gluten-free variant, I have successfully used cornflour (more finely ground than cornmeal). My recollection is that it was somewhat crumblier than normal, but otherwise OK. I have not tried it but I suspect that rice flour would work about the same.
  • I'm not sure what would happen if you just used two cups of cornmeal. I expect the result would just be really crumbly cornbread, but if you're planning to use it as a substitute for turkey stuffing, that's probably OK.
  • The batch I just made came out pretty crumbly anyway.
  • I just eyeballed the sage. It might have been closer to 3 tbsp, I'm not sure. You could substitute dry sage, and if you do you will need a lot less, but I don't know how much exactly.
  • This should go without saying, but you can leave the sage out if you just want regular cornbread.
  • You can use less butter, no butter, or substitute canola oil if you're looking for something a little more healthy.
  • My batter comes out pretty thick, especially with the whole stick of butter. You can just add a little more milk if you find the thick batter to be an issue.
  • Astute readers will note that since I softened the butter in the pyrex dish, I could just have used butter residue to grease the dish. Usually I don't use butter at all (certainly not a whole stick) and just use a little canola oil to grease the dish.
  • As mentioned above, I wait until the batter is ready before I even start to preheat the oven. This gives the cornbread batter more time to rise, which makes a difference in my experience, but seems to be a problem that other people don't have. (Maybe my baking powder is old?)
  • Also as mentioned above, I preheat the greased pyrex dish as well as the oven. This keeps the cornbread from sticking to the dish after it's done and makes it much easier to clean the dish afterwards. However, you have to remember that the dish is still hot when you're pouring the batter into it!
  • If you're feeling ambitious, you could use the butter to saute garlic, chopped celery, chopped onions or other stuffing-like ingredients to add to the batter.
  • No matter how hard I try, I can never cut the cornbread into equal sized pieces. This bothers me more that it should.