Pan de Maíz: Cornbread with more Corn than Wheat
This cornbread has a higher ratio of corn to wheat flour than Northern cornbread recipes and it is not sweet. I like to make this cornbread often not only because it brings back memories of my family (Hi, sis, Nieves!) but also because it is a prime example of the beautiful marriage between Native American cuisines and European cuisines. Texas Indians were making cornbread before the arrival of Europeans in 1528, and Europeans were making wheat bread before they immigrated to our shores. But then corn met wheat. They liked each other and a beautiful friendship was born!
It’s typical of Texas Mexican versions, actually of most Southern versions, to favor more corn than wheat and also to not fiddle much with its natural sweetness. The small amount of sugar in this recipe helps maintain the moisture in the bread. I think you’ll enjoy the extra crunch, especially the nice crust that forms by heating the cast iron skillet before pouring in the batter. Again, this crust is typical of almost all Southern style cornbread recipes.
Recipe: Makes one 10-inch round
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter, melted
1 egg white
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbs Canola oil
1. Preheat the oven to 4250 F
2. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, add the Canola oil and place in the oven to heat
3. Sift together the wheat flour, soda, baking powder, sugar and salt until thoroughly mixed.
4. Add the cornmeal and mix thoroughly. (I always combine some really coarse-ground cornmeal into the cup of cornmeal, about 25%)
5. In a separate bowl beat the egg and egg white
6. Add the buttermilk and the melted butter to the beaten eggs and stir until fully mixed.
7. Pour the egg and buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir gently with a large spoon, just enough to incorporate the liquid.
8. Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and pour the batter into it. Sizzle! Place in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown.