Whenever I make vegetable cheese chowder or chili, I need cornbread twists on the side. Can’t have one without the other. Pillsbury used to sell canned cornbread twists, similar to their breadsticks that come out of a refrigerated, unwrap-then-pop-on-the-counter-and-watch-the-dough-fly-out kind of can. They seem to have disappeared. What happened? I’m not saying they were a culinary marvel, but my family and I had developed a taste for them.
So I set out to come up with a reasonable substitute. Jiffy cornbread mix to the rescue. I keep these inexpensive mixes in the pantry whenever I need cornbread as an ingredient for a recipe. If I’m going to eat cornbread on its own, I make it from scratch. Otherwise, Jiffy is good enough.
But you need more than a regular cornbread recipe to imitate cornbread twists. You need yeast and flour to get the right texture inside which should be soft and chewy. Rolling the twists in butter, then cornmeal, gives a crispy crunchy crust that goes oh so well with soup.
What follows is an incredibly easy recipe if you have a bread machine, and not much more trouble if you make it in a stand mixer. (See notes below recipe.) It’s not as fast as opening a can, but it’s better than nothing. I considered making the whole recipe from scratch, but there’s something in the Jiffy mix that makes these cornbread sticks taste more authentic.
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
- 1-1/4 cup unbleached flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoon bread-machine yeast
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup cornmeal (optional)
- Heat milk to lukewarm. Add to bread-machine pan along with the egg, cornbread mix, flour, and yeast. Set on "Dough" cycle.
- When complete, remove dough to floured surface. Roll into 15 x 8-inch rectangle.
- Cut ¾-inch strips the short way. (See picture above.) Dip in butter, then cornmeal, if desired. Knock off excess cornmeal. Twist and lay onto greased cookie sheet or silicone mat. Don't crowd. I use two cookie sheets.
- Cover twists and set in warm place to rise about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake 12-15 minutes until golden.
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