Every year, those of us who like food spend time brainstorming, imagining, and pinning great updates to our Thanksgiving tables.
And every year, we make the exact same thing. This might seem not very creative, for people who really like food. But I love the Thanksgiving menu we go back to year after year. It’s really delicious. It’s satisfying.
Some of what I think people are looking for is to lighten up Thanksgiving. Not to make it low fat – that would be no fun. But rather to take the emphasis off of cream and butter and sugar and turkey drippings and replace some of those awesome ingredients with fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
At our house, that’s probably not going to happen. We’re going to keep putting butter and cream into our broccoli puree, even though maybe guests would be fine eating lighter roasted broccoli. And at our house, I make braided biscuits, and so we probably won’t serve this hearty whole-grain, seeded cornbread.
Since Food Network is hosting a virtual Thanksgiving again this year, I decided I’d make my updates virtual too. So I’m throwing this cornbread into the mix. Its texture comes from a mix of flours and cornmeal, plus sesame, poppy, and sunflower seeds. I didn’t have any around, but pumpkin seeds would be a great addition too. While it’s not light, exactly, it doesn’t contain much butter or cream. (That means there’s room for slathering butter and honey on top.)
What’s on your Thanksgiving menu? Anything new?
And here’s what everyone else is bringing to the potluck:
Cocktails, Appetizers, Salads and Breads:
Haute Apple Pie: Apple Jack
Cooking With Books: Spiced Couscous and Walnut Salad
Mooshu Jenne: Honey Bacon Potato Pops
Food For My Family: Roasted Beet and Lacinato Kale Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
FN Dish: Black Pepper-Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Turkey
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chorizo, Cornbread and Tortilla Dressing
Sweet Life: Apple Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing
And Love It, Too: Paleo Green Bean Casserole
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Sweet Spiced Winter Squash Casserole
Red or Green?: Corn, Peppers and Onion Saute
Simple Bites: Honey Pomegranate Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Virtually Homemade: Fresh Orange and Cranberry Sauce With Toasted Walnuts
What’s Gaby Cooking: Sweet Potato Gratin
The Heritage Cook: Cauliflower Gratin
Creative Culinary: Creamy Mushroom Bake With Parmesan and Panko
Bacon and Souffle: Spicy Carnival Squash
Super Seeded Corn Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Adapted from 101Cookbooks.
This is not your traditional cornbread! It’s more of a yeasted quickbread, dense and nutty and satisfying. The loaf is at its best the day you make it, but you can always store it wrapped in the fridge and then toast some slices or crisp up the whole loaf in the oven when you’re ready to eat.
1 1/4 cups warm water (about 105-115°F–it should feel warm to your wrist but not hot)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup medium-grind cornmeal, either white or yellow
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, or a combination, plus more for sprinkling the top
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling the top
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling the top
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing
In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast onto the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in the honey and set aside for a few minutes, until the yeast bubbles and gets foamy, about 7-10 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the flours, cornmeal, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and salt in a large bowl.
Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir very well.
Oil a loaf pan generously. Scrape the dough into the pan and spread it more or less to the edges. Cover with a clean, slightly damp cloth, and set in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise. I like to inspect my kitchen, looking for the warmest place–don’t try to get your bread to rise if you’ve got a draft! Find a cozy corner, perhaps near the radiator, instead.
Brush the top of the bread with butter. Sprinkle with a couple pinches of each of the kinds of seeds.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. When ready, bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and the edges pull away from the pan. Remove from oven, and lift the bread out of the pan onto a cooling rack immediately. Let it cool slightly. Serve warm, with butter, jam, and slices of Swiss or cheddar.