I must start by clarifying that this is not bread made from popped corn and strawberries. This is actually bread made of meal from the ornamental corn variety known as Strawberry Popcorn.
Strawberry popcorn is a popular back-yard dwarf corn variety that produces lovely small ears. Of which, the kernels pop up to make tiny mediocre snacks. After being somewhat disappointed with the popping qualities of this corn, we decided to grind it into meal. The result: Strawberry popcorn makes fabulous corn meal! I would consider growing this variety again just to have this superb cornbread.
Strawberry popcorn, like other popcorn, is a type of flint corn. Flint corn has a harder exterior and higher nutrient content that other types of corn. The harder exterior of the flint kernels grinds to make high quality cornmeal that smells and tastes wonderful. This recipe would work well with any variety of cornmeal, but a hard shelled flint cornmeal will produce the rich and perfectly textured bread that is pictured here. If you don’t have freshly ground strawberry popcorn sitting around in your kitchen, you could make very similar bread using Red Floriani Meal.
This simple cornbread recipe does not require any great skills, only a well seasoned 11″ cast iron skillet. If you do not own a cast iron skillet please purchase one, season it properly, and then make this recipe. There really is no substitute for quality cast iron cookware.
- 1 & 1/2 cups flint cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
- Preheat oven and cast iron skillet to 425˚F. The skillet must be hot when you pour the batter in, or you will not end up with a beautiful crust. If you have a convection oven, do NOT use the convection option for this bread.
- Once your oven is hot and your ingredients are ready to mix, pour 2 Tbs of oil in the hot skillet and carefully place the skillet back in the oven.
- Make the cornbread batter by combining the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. =Mix by hand until a uniform texture.
- Using heavy oven mitts, take the skillet out of the oven, and very carefully sit it on the stove top. The oil in the pan should be almost smoking. Pour the batter into the hot skillet. It will sizzle and there should be just enough oil to bubble up over the edges of the batter.
- Put the skillet back in the oven and cook for 22 minutes.
- When it is done, again using heavy oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven and quickly flip he pan upside down onto a cooling rack. If your cast iron was well seasoned and hot enough, a perfect round corn bread should fall free. If the bread sticks, loosen the sides a bit with a knife and try again. If the bread doesn’t release in one piece, or cracks, piece it together and enjoy it anyway. A well seasoned cast iron skillet will allow the cornbread to release perfectly and it will look beautiful. Allow the bread to cool for 5 minutes before placing on serving plate. Cooling cornbread on a rack helps to keep the exterior nice and crunchy.
- Serve with softened butter.