Big Batch Cornmeal Dry Mix 9.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Sep 18, 2017

Cornmeal can go sweet or savory, and there’s no use in creating an all-purpose mix with it if you’re not going to account for both. With this mix, you can make old-fashioned blueberry muffins or skillet corn bread. But don’t stop there: Apply it to a peach upside-down cake or sophisticated olive oil cake. Serve syrup-coated corn meal pancakes for breakfast, or their smoked salmon-topped counterparts as hors d’oeuvres.

The mixes were developed using weight measurements for the dry ingredients then converted to the volume measurements during testing.

To make basic corn bread (sweet), see the NOTE, below.

To read the accompanying story, see: Be better than Betty Crocker. Here's how to make your own baking mixes like a pro.

Make Ahead: The mix can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 months.


Servings:
9 cups; 1 cup equals 5 ounces

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 9 cups; 1 cup equals 5 ounces

Ingredients
  • 4 cups (18 ounces) finely ground cornmeal
  • 4 cups (18 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (42 grams) baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) table salt

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Directions

Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large container with a tight-fitting lid (15- to 16-cup capacity), until thoroughly incorporated. Seal, label and store at room temperature until ready to use.

NOTE: To make an 8-inch square or loaf (8  1/2-by-4 1/2 inches), use a fork to whisk together 2  1/2 cups Big Batch Cornmeal Dry Mix, 1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar or packed light or dark brown sugar and up to 1 teaspoon spices* in a mixing bowl.

Whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, unsweetened coconut milk or a fruit puree*, 2 large eggs, up to 1 1/2 tablespoons flavorings* and 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup, then pour over the dry mixture, along with 8 tablespoons unsalted melted butter and up to 1 cup of add-ins* (optional). Gently fold until well blended, then pour into the greased/floured pan.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes (square) or 50 to 55 minutes (loaf). Cool on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes in the pan, then dislodge to cool completely.

*These are some of the swaps and add-ins that can be used:

OILS: Neutral-flavored oils such as vegetable, corn, canola, grapeseed or refined coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined coconut oil.

FLAVORINGS: Freshly grated lemon or orange zest; freshly grated peeled ginger root.

GROUND SPICES: Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, espresso powder.

ADD-INS: Poppy, caraway, fennel, anise or sesame seeds; dried culinary lavender; diced crystallized ginger; chopped nuts, toasted; hulled sunflower seeds; diced apple; diced banana; whole berries (halved or quartered, if large); chopped chocolate or chips; lightly packed, coarsely shredded zucchini (avoid the center seeds, wrap in paper towels and squeeze out liquid); lightly packed/finely shredded carrot; coarsely chopped dried fruit, plumped in hot water and drained; shredded sweetened coconut/toasted coconut; fresh herbs; corn kernels; chopped scallions; shredded or crumbled cheese.

PRE-BAKE TOPPINGS (up to two per baked good): 2 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar; 1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans and/or hazelnuts; 1/2 cup rolled oats; 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced and drained on paper towels.

FINISHING TOPPINGS: Confectioners' sugar (dusted); glaze/icing; frosting.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author and food writer Abigail Johnson Dodge.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.