16 January 2013

{food} Grandma's Cornmeal Buns


I've eaten these moist, delicious rolls all my life, probably. Taken them for granted, I'm sure. Then, after moving 400 miles away from the Grandma these are named after and no longer living with my mom, her daughter, who carried on the baking tradition, I realized....if I wanted these buns, I'd have to make them myself.

Actually, my mom brought them over for our Christmas meal together and reminded me of their delicate amazingness.

Sometimes you just realize -- it's time.
So I made the dough. It's not a quick bread, like I've been in the habit of making lately. But it doesn't take much kneading.
It's really soft.

The trick is simply doing everything in the right order and planning rise time into your day.



Make the cornmeal. Add the stuff. Let it cool. Let your yeast mixture bubble. Add it to the cooled stuff. Add the flour. Mix. Knead. Let it rise. Form balls. Let it rise. Bake. That's pretty much how my mom's recipe read. She must have great faith in me.

I added a few details for your baking pleasure below.
Would you just look at those babies? Imagine the smell. Now open your mouth and get ready for a soft, hot, slightly sweet bite of melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Oh dear.
The boys were waiting for these to come out of the oven and came at the dish with knives, barely letting me snap a few shots before digging in. Half the pan was gone in less than ten minutes. I kid you not.

I may have eaten a few myself.
Make some time in your week sometime for a baking afternoon. These are totally worth it.

Grandma's Cornmeal Buns
a beloved family recipe

Step One: Cook the cornmeal.
Bring the salted water to a boil, then pour in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Turn the heat down right away and cook on low for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until it becomes thick.
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup course cornmeal

Step Two: Add ingredients.
Add brown sugar and butter {Smart Balance} to the warm cornmeal and stir until melted. Set aside {or put in the fridge} to cool.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Step Three: Bubble yeast.
Add yeast and sugar to warm water and let sit for 5-10 minutes until nice and bubbly.
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp active yeast

Step Four: Mix and add ingredients.
Add bubbled yeast mixture to the cooled cornmeal and mix together gently. Add wheat germ and flour. Knead with floured hands until all flour is incorporated and dough is not too sticky. Cover with towel and let rise for one hour.
1/4 cup wheat germ
4-5 cups all purpose flour

Step Five: Punch and form into balls.
Punch down dough and split in half, then split those halves in half until you have around 32 little dough balls. Place balls in sprayed casserole dish, cover with towel and let rise for 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and then bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool {if you can keep the grabbing fingers away} and enjoy!