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What grind cornmeal for cornbread or muffins?

Made some muffins with coarse grind yesterday and found them to be just a bit too rustic. Wondering if folks prefer a medium or more fine grind. Are proportions the same to use in a recipe depending on what grind you use? Most recipes that I see are not specific as to the suggested grind and what the recipe was tested with or intended to use.

asked by Chicago Mike over 6 years ago
5 answers 11913 views
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Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 6 years ago

When in doubt, use medium grind if the recipe doesn't specify. You'll still get a little crunch, and odds are you'll be fine in terms of proportions.

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added over 6 years ago

I keep two grinds in my pantry: a medium/fine ground for muffins and quick breads, and the coarse ground for polenta and dusting for pizzas and breads.

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added over 6 years ago

I think the big difference in cornmeal, what makes for the 'rustic' quality, is whether it is whole grain/stone ground or the germ has been removed (degerminated), like Quaker. Then there's the grind, but without the germ you're missing some very tasty and nutritious components. With coarser grind, try adding a little more liquid, maybe letting it sit a bit. I like to prepare the cornmeal (note the 'meal' part) by pouring boiling water over it, so it is ready for baking -- not all the time, just some preparations.

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added over 6 years ago

Thanks all for the replies. I used Bob's Coarse Grind Cornmeal - clearly something that looks like it wants to be reincarnated as polenta or to grease up a pizza peel. Like the idea of the additional liquid or the sitting time, but in this case my recipe's guidance were to combine wet and dry until just incorporated, so I didn't consider a soak first, but certainly would next time.

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added over 1 year ago

I recently made sweet corn muffins using Goya Corn Meal. I prefer a coarser grind to my cornmeal so there's a bit of crunch. This time around I was happy with the moisture content and flavor/sweetness, but the grind was too coarse and crunchy. I read an article in Cooks Illustrated that said Arrowhead Mills whole grain organic cornmeal was a perfect combination of crunch and corn flavor. I'll try that next time.

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