Whole Grain Floriani Cornbread

When it came time to make the cornbread for our traditional Thanksgiving dressing last week, I remembered I had a bag of stone-ground, Willamette Valley-grown, organic Floriani Red Flint cornmeal from Camas Country Mill in my freezer. It’s a lovely, coarse cornmeal with red and brown flecks and I just knew it would bake up into a flavorful pan of cornbread.

I started with the corn cake instructions from our McDaniel Family Cornbread Dressing recipe, but I made a few adaptations. I replaced the white flour with freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour and I soaked the cornmeal in the egg and milk for a few minutes to let the bran and germ soften. I also substituted unsalted butter for the oil.

I used an 11-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet to give the cornbread a nice, crusty edge, but a 9 x 13 pan will work, too. Either way, this cornmeal makes superb cornbread. I served it with a hearty soup and saved the rest for the cornbread dressing.

Whole Grain Floriani Cornbread

This recipe will fill an 11-inch cast iron skillet or a 9 x 13-inch glass or metal pan.

2 eggs
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used freshly ground soft white wheat)
2 cups Camas Country Mill Floriani Red Flint cornmeal
2 tablespoons Sucanat sweetener (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If using a cast iron pan, place it in the oven and allow to  preheat for at least 10 minutes. Otherwise, butter a 9 x 13 inch pan and set aside.

Beat the eggs well in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and cornmeal and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir together the whole wheat flour, Sucanat or sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the cornmeal mixture just until combined and no dry spots remain. If using cast iron, carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and brush with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Gently whisk the rest of the butter into the batter and pour into the prepared pan.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes, just until set and golden brown on top. A toothpick or wooden skewer poked in the center should come out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 - 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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