Monday, October 31, 2011

Corn Bread From Home Ground Corn

My oh my, what kind shall I choose? The sweet corn dried like field corn or the Painted Mountain corn? I gave up and decided it would be a good opportunity to grind both kinds and make two batches of corn bread to test them side by side in a taste test.

We had a church Halloween party Saturday night and I could take both 9 inch square pans of corn bread for my contribution to the chili meal. That way Kirk and I wouldn't have to try and eat two pans. Something I know we'd never get done. This way we could try both and share the rest.
 I was curious to see what the Painted Mountain corn meal would look like since the kernels were of so many different colors. It was hearty and healthy looking.
The sweet corn variety looked traditional. Much like that at the store but with a far moisture feel and look. I've used this corn last year when I first tried drying sweet corn on the cob and shelling it for corn meal. It's a good way to use those not so pretty ears of corn. Just leave them in the garden to dry on the stalks. Then remove and let finish drying hanging up or on newspaper in a dry, warm place. If using newspaper, be sure and turn the corn on occasion to insure all sides dry evenly.
The Painted Mountain corn bread dough was easy to distinguish with its red and black flakes. It looked like I'd spiced it with herbs.

The sweet corn dough I've learned to not add as much sugar because the corn is naturally high in sweetener. Since my corn bread recipe is amazingly moist but tastes more like cake, I'm going to work on dropping the sugar level until it tastes a bit more bread like but I don't want to loose the moistness. Not sure if the sugar will effect that in any way. I couldn't find out the answer on the Internet.

There is no doubt which corn bread is higher is nutrients. Hands down, the Painted Mountain corn bread. Remember, the dark kernels have more anti-oxidants than blue berries and the vitamin levels are very high in this variety.
It's one of the reasons I choose heirloom seeds varieties. Our ancestors were all about survival. Fields that once grew 75 bushel now grow 150 bushel but the corn is significantly lacking in vitamins. It's no wonder the world has super sized it. You know, made the servings much larger. It takes that much to get the same amount of nutrients that you received in a small portion when our great grand parents were alive.

Some times, less is really more. So though this sweet corn, corn meal is really tasty, the Painted Mountain corn was only slightly less sweeter and held a healthy punch of nutrients. Hands down, the Painted Mountain corn stays. Now if only I can get my sweet corn and Painted Mountain corn to tassel at different times, I'd be really happy.

 The plan is to try and put the Painted Mountain corn in three weeks ahead of the sweet corn. Last year I did it the opposite way and they tasseled at the same time. Either the Painted Mountain corn matures faster. (It's known to be pretty cold hardy.) Or the weather and amount of light is the main determining factor in tasseling. I'll have a better idea by the end of next summer.

If weather is the factor then I'll have to rotate the years I grow one kind and then the other. I've not got the space to keep them from wind pollinating each other as they did this past summer. Alas, some day it would be grand to have a larger place.

 Now I want to add Painted Mountain corn meal to my regular bread to increase the nutrient levels. Maybe I'll give corn meal pancakes another try too.

When you order seeds next year, keep Painted Mountain corn in mind. It's a good addition to your garden.


  1. I was wondering if you use straight cornmeal in your cornbread recipe or do you add some flour that is wheat flour

  2. In these batches I added unbromeated and unbleached white flour by Montana Wheat company. Go ahead and try wheat flour. The rule of thumb is to replace 3/4 a cup of wheat flour for every cup of white flour in the recipe. Wheat flour is more dense.