It seems like there are new baking and cooking groups popping up every day. So many of them intrigue me, but realistically there aren't enough hours in the day or days in a week to join all of them. There is a group making their way through Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice; I really enjoy the book and have a few blogging friends who participate in the group so occasionally I'll jump in and make a recipe with them.
This cornbread was one of those recipes. It requires a bit of advance planning as you start by soaking the cornmeal in buttermilk overnight. The next day the bread is mixed up and baked with both whole corn kernels and a bacon topping. I tend to be a bit picky about my cornbread and I don't like corn kernels in it so I omitted them. I wasn't sure how I felt about the bacon topping but most things are better with bacon so I gave it a shot. I had enough batter to make 12 muffins and fill an 8-inch cake pan. As for the verdict? I liked it but it wasn't my favorite. On the plus side, it's very moist, has a tender crumb and, aside from the overnight soaker, comes together quickly. I tend to like my cornbread on the sweet side (I know some people cringe at the idea of sweet cornbread but let's not debate it today), however, and this one wasn't quite sweet enough for me (a bit surprising since the recipe calls for granulated sugar, brown sugar and honey!). I also didn't like the bacon on top so I'll definitely leave that off next time. Apparently I'm a cornbread purist - no corn kernels and no bacon here!
The cornbread recipe can be found on a number of sites, including this one, but I highly recommend picking up the book!