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Monday
Apr122010

Mealiebread, South African Cornbread

I love cornbread and this one is a classic direct from our South African cousin. I used fresh corn which was beautiful - make sure to cook it in advance however to give the corn time to cool as they are added to the egg mix where the heat from the corn could begin to cook the egg. Try to use the correct flour or adjust it to keep it light. I adore this fresh from the oven as part of a brunch with smoked salmon and avocado and a little watercress. Is tasty simply on its own or as part of a picnic or BBQ as well.

"A healthy easy to make bread, great combined with good company and a braai (barbeque)"- Rebecca Allan.

 
Pictured: Mealiebread, South African Cornbread

1 cup chopped onions or leeks
4 tbsp butter/margarine
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 ½ cups flour, or cake flour if you have it*
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 cups mealie kernels (tinned in water not creamed!)**
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 eggs
175ml plain yoghurt

*Cake flour is a low gluten flour (Swans Down or SoftsSilk are brand names). Cake flour has 6-8% protein content and is made from soft wheat flour. It is chlorinated to further break down the strength of the gluten and is smooth and velvety in texture. Good for making cakes (especially white cakes and biscuits) and cookies where a tender and delicate texture is desired. To substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour. Make your own - one cup sifted cake flour can be substituted with 3/4 cup (84 grams) sifted bleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch.
**mealie is the South African term for corn, can substitute with fresh corn.

 
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Sauté onions in butter, add herbs and leave to cool. 
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. 
Mix parsley, mealies, carrots, onions and cheese. 
Beat eggs with fork and add yogurt. 
Sift flour over corn mixture and bind to dough with egg mixture. 
Put into greased loaf tin.
Bake 1 ¼ hours. Let rest in tin for 15 minutes before turning out on a rack to cool. Lovely served warm or cooled. Store in an airtight container once cooled.

Makes 1 loaf

TasteTip – In Africa, Monkey bread is a term for the fruit of the baobab tree, which hang like castanets from the branches. The fruit itself is edible (indeed much of the tree may be usefully consumed in some form), but the seeds within provide most uses: soaked in water to create a refreshing drink; ground into flour for thickening and flavouring soups; they can even be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee.