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A Tender Sweet Corn Snacking Loaf
A gluten-free cornbread — or for shaving off slices of all day long
This loaf gave me a lot of trouble, and I think it’s because I wasn’t sure what I wanted it to be. It began with an idea for a quick bread enriched with cottage cheese, inspired in part by the Mollie Katzen one. But why not make it gluten-free, since I’ve been incrementally going in that direction over the past couple years? And I love cornbread, with its natural sweetness and nubby texture, but I see it less often in a loaf format — so that’d be fun! Is it savory? Is it sweet? Is it soft and tender, or rich and dense? All unknowns. But “cottage cheese corn loaf” sounds a little gross…so, what would I even call this thing?
All those heavy ingredients — the cottage cheese, the cornmeal, the almond flour — yielded a bread that always emerged from the oven with a crater in its center. It tasted good — very lightly sweet, and with varying crumbs from coarse and gritty to soft and spongy — but nothing seemed to fix the look. So after many tests over a few weeks, I put the recipe on pause.
This week I decided to revisit it, resolved to sort it out anew. I’m glad I did. This time around, the fixes were easier: add more liquid in the form of blended fresh corn, cut the heavier flours with a lighter one (oat), fiddle with the leavening.
It’s got a tight and tender, cake-like crumb with just enough nubbiness to remind you that there’s cornmeal in it, and a nice, dark crust. The summery perfume will be welcome in your winter kitchen if you live in a cold climate like I do, and the loaf is just sweet enough to satisfy as both a snack and anywhere you’d add a tray of cornbread to the mix. I don’t know if it’s the loaf I originally wanted, but I like the result. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
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Sweet Corn Snacking Loaf
This loaf is just sweet — the “sweet” in the title modifies the corn.
Any brand or style of cottage cheese works, but add an additional few pinches of salt if you use a no-salt-added variety.
If you have a scale, please use it here. There can be a lot of variance in volume measurements with these flours.
Using a coarse grind of cornmeal will result in a very nubby loaf, which may be your thing.
Yield 10-12 slices | Prep time 10 minutes | Bake time 45-55 minutes
¾ cup (105g) fine or medium grind cornmeal
¾ cup (75g) almond flour
¾ cup (90g) oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (120g) corn kernels, thawed for 10-15 min if frozen
½ cup (125g) cottage cheese
½ cup (95g) olive oil or melted butter
5 tablespoons (90g) honey or maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter or olive oil and line with a piece of parchment paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, almond flour, oat flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
3. In a blender or tall measuring glass if using an immersion blender, blitz together the cottage cheese and corn until smooth. Add the eggs, olive oil, and maple syrup and blitz again on low speed until just combined. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface.
4. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, rotating halfway, until the crust is browned and a tester comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes, then lift from the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. It’s totally fine to slice into this while it’s a bit warm. And toasted or griddled leftovers the next day are a treat.