“I grew up in France, so my first experience eating cornbread wasn’t until I was 17 or 18 years old when I traveled to North America for the first time. When I moved here I learned just how much of a staple cornbread is in the South. At La Farm, we use grains grown or milled nearby as much as we can. I get cornmeal from Yates Mill in Raleigh. It’s a restored 18th century gristmill, powered by a waterwheel. For me bread is the product of fermentation; it’s leavened with yeast. But I’ve made an exception here. And whereas traditional cornbread is predominantly made with cornmeal, here flour is the main ingredient. So I call it Frenchman’s cornbread.” Lionel Vatinet, Master Baker, La Farm Bakery, CaryFrenchman’s CornbreadStart to finish: 25 minutes Makes 1 loaf1 cup plus 2 teaspoons pastry flour¾ cup fresh stone-ground yellow cornmeal3 tablespoons sugar1 tablespoon baking powder½ teaspoon sea salt¼ cup finely chopped chives1 cup chopped red onion4 ounces European butter1 cup plus 3 tablespoons buttermilk1 egg¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Measure and place all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Add chives and ¾ cup of red onions.Melt the butter and let it cool. Add buttermilk and egg to the butter and stir until well mixed.Combine dry and wet mixtures until just combined. Form dough into a boule or donut shape and top with remaining onions. Shredded cheddar cheese may also be used. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
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