As a food blogger, I spend a lot of time thinking about food. My weekly meal plans are intricate works of strategy, taking into account produce seasonality, pantry inventory, and the various nutritional needs and preferences of myself (runner/food blogger/mostly vegetarian) and Mike (programmer/hater of kale/mostly vegetarian under duress). I maintain a spreadsheet of new restaurants I want to try, sortable by neighborhood and cuisine. If you've ever read one of my travel posts, you know that I put at least as much effort into planning what we're going to eat as figuring out accommodations and sightseeing.
Lately, I have turned my laser-sharp food obsession to the subject of corn muffins. I have a Platonic ideal of a corn muffin: unsweetened, not too fluffy, more cornmeal than flour, a tiny bit dense. Basically a classic Southern skillet cornbread, in muffin form. After much research and experimentation, I finally settled on this basic buttermilk corn muffin recipe from Deep Dish South, with a couple minor tweaks: I adjusted the recipe to use all-purpose flour instead of self-rising, and I omitted the optional sugar. As the original recipe specifies, be sure to let the batter rest for 5 minutes--it really does make a difference in the texture of the finished muffins. Without some time to relax, they end up too dense.
Adapted Deep Dish South
Yield: 12 muffins
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 12 muffin cups and place muffin tin in oven to heat while preparing the batter.
Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter, egg, and buttermilk and mix until batter is smooth and fluffy. Allow batter to rest for 5 minutes, and then spoon batter into preheated muffin cups.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.