Recipe

Nixtamalized Cornbread

by Tim Chin  

Nixtamalization is a chemical process that changes the color, flavor, and even nutritional profile of corn. Using nixtamalized corn in place of cornmeal in this recipe yields a nuttier, more complex cornbread. The bread develops an especially brown and rich-tasting crust where it comes in contact with the cast-iron skillet. In fact, we like the crust so much that we sometimes even serve the cornbread upside down. 

Yield
Serves 10 to 12
SFS_Cornbread-0186.jpg
Ingredients
1,500 g water
400 g dried field corn
8 g pickling lime
226 g unsalted butter, cut into 8 equal pieces
8 g vegetable oil
200 g sugar
10 g salt
8 g baking powder
300 g whole milk
165 g egg (3 large eggs)
200 g all-purpose flour
6½ cups water
2¼ cups (14 ounces) dried field corn
3¼ teaspoons pickling lime
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 equal pieces
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1¾ cups (12¼ ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1¼ teaspoons salt
1¼ cups whole milk
3  large eggs
1 cup plus 7 tablespoons (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
Essential Equipment
Instructions
    • 1,500 g water
 
    • 400 g dried field corn 
    • 8 g pickling lime

    In large saucepan, combine water and corn and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until corn has softened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in pickling lime until dissolved and corn turns yellow-orange, about 30 seconds. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. 
    • 226 g unsalted butter, cut into 8 equal pieces

    • 8 g vegetable oil

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C. Heat 7 pieces butter in 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling skillet constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes; transfer to medium bowl. Add remaining 1 piece butter to bowl of browned butter and stir until completely melted; set aside. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Add oil to skillet and transfer to oven.  
    • 200 g sugar
 
    • 10 g salt
 
    • 8 g baking powder
    • 300 g whole milk
 
    • 165 g egg (3 large eggs)
    • 200 g all-purpose flour
    Whisk sugar, salt, and baking powder together in medium bowl and set aside. Drain corn in colander. Place colander in large bowl and fill with water. Massage corn in water for 30 seconds, then lift colander and discard water in bowl. Repeat massaging 2 times with fresh water. Transfer rinsed corn to food processor and process until coarsely ground, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add milk and browned butter and process until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs and process until combined, about 30 seconds. Add sugar mixture and process until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Using rubber spatula, fold in flour until just combined and no clumps of flour remain, about 15 folds. 
  1. Remove skillet from oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Scrape batter into preheated skillet, smooth top with spatula, and bake until top is deep golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through baking. Use metal spatula to carefully slide cornbread onto wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Let cool for 30 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.
Instructions
    • 6½ cups water
 
    • 2¼ cups (14 ounces) dried field corn 
    • 3¼ teaspoons pickling lime

    In large saucepan, combine water and corn and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until corn has softened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in pickling lime until dissolved and corn turns yellow-orange, about 30 seconds. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. 
    • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 equal pieces

    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C. Heat 7 pieces butter in 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling skillet constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes; transfer to medium bowl. Add remaining 1 piece butter to bowl of browned butter and stir until completely melted; set aside. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Add oil to skillet and transfer to oven.  
    • 1¾ cups (12¼ ounces) sugar
 
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
 
    • 1¼ teaspoons salt
 
    • 1¼ cups whole milk
 
    • 3 large eggs
 
    • 1 cup plus 7 tablespoons (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
    Whisk sugar, salt, and baking powder together in medium bowl and set aside. Drain corn in colander. Place colander in large bowl and fill with water. Massage corn in water for 30 seconds, then lift colander and discard water in bowl. Repeat massaging 2 times with fresh water. Transfer rinsed corn to food processor and process until coarsely ground, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add milk and browned butter and process until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs and process until combined, about 30 seconds. Add sugar mixture and process until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Using rubber spatula, fold in flour until just combined and no clumps of flour remain, about 15 folds. 
  1. Remove skillet from oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Scrape batter into preheated skillet, smooth top with spatula, and bake until top is deep golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through baking. Use metal spatula to carefully slide cornbread onto wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Let cool for 30 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.
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