I don’t think I’d ever made corn bread in a loaf pan, and I don’t recall ever toasting it. The loaves can be baked, cooled, and stored wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to four days. Or, they can be frozen for three months. When ready to serve, just cut thick slices and toast them. The recipe makes two loaves, so I have one stashed in the freezer for a later date. To start, the dry ingredients were whisked together including flour, cornmeal, sugar, and I used half the sugar to make it less sweet, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, eggs, milk, and sour cream were whisked and melted butter was slowly added last. The wet ingredients were folded into the dry ingredients, and that was it. The loaves baked for about 40 minutes while puffing up and turning a pale golden color. I let the loaves cool, stored them away, and sliced pieces to toast just before brunch.
The edges get toasty and crispy while the center of each thick piece remains tender. Salted, Irish butter was exactly right to spread on top. It’s nice to know I have another loaf ready and waiting whenever I need it. And, I like knowing I have this book for reliable, crowd-pleasing dishes that are perfect for entertaining.
Sour Cream Corn Bread
Reprinted from Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Copyright © 2014 by Ina Garten. Photographs © 2014 by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House LLC.
Makes 2 loaves
This all-American quick bread is usually served with dinner. To make it ahead, I bake it in loaves, and then slice, toast, and slather it with butter and jam for breakfast. Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal is widely available and essential for this recipe.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill medium-grind yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
Salted butter and strawberry jam, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line the bottom of two 8½ × 4½ × 2-inch loaf pans with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, sour cream, and eggs and then slowly whisk in the melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix them together with a rubber spatula, until combined. Don’t overmix! Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smooth the top, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Place the pans on a rack and cool completely.
When ready to serve, slice the corn bread, toast it, and serve with salted butter and strawberry jam.
Make It Ahead: Bake the corn breads, cool completely, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost, if necessary, slice 1/2 inch thick, and toast.
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