Cheese and bacon cornbread with chilli butter

Angela Nilsen's cornbread is quick and easy to make, it's great to serve as a tapas dish or take on a picnic
By Angela Nilsen
Cheese and bacon cornbread with chilli butter
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Cuts into 12 chunky slices
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the cornbread

  • 4 rashers streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 75 g butter, plus extra for greasing tin
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 100 g polenta
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g parmesan, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 100 ml milk

For the chilli butter

  • 1/4 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 75 g butter, softened

Tips and Suggestions

To keep the bread light, mix the batter only until everything is combined. A bit like a muffin mix, too much beating can toughen the texture.

Keep the cornbread well wrapped and it will stay fresh for 2-3 days.

Method

1. For the cornbread: Heat a dry, non-stick frying pan, tip in the bacon and fry for several minutes until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter and line the base of a 23x13x5.5cm loaf tin.
Melt the 75g butter and leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile, put the flour, polenta, baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl and stir together with a large metal spoon. Mix in the bacon and most of the cheese, keeping 2 tablespoons of the cheese back for later. Beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl, stir in the yogurt, then the milk and melted butter. Make a dip in the flour mixture, pour in the egg and milk mix and stir just to combine, without overmixing. It will be like a soft cake batter.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, gently level the surface then scatter over the reserved cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until well risen and golden brown and if you insert a skewer into the bread it should come out clean.

4. For the chilli butter: while the bread is baking, use a mortar and pestle to grind the crushed chillies as fine as you can. Beat them into the butter.

5. Remove the bread from the oven and leave it in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out and transferring to a wire rack to get completely cold. Slice and serve with the chilli butter.

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