Recipe: Mealie Bread

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The next time you walk into your kitchen, walk into the warm, sweet scent of mealie bread. Let a smile curl along your lips as you taste that first, moist bite with your imagination.

Then take a moment for real indulgence: spread softened butter across the still-warm bread, only to see it melt into and down the sides of the tender crumb.

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I’ve had lots of corn bread before, but never something as rich and flavorful as this Mealie Bread. The main difference between this and ordinary corn bread is that it doesn’t rely on cornmeal, but actual corn to flavor the bread.

Mealie Bread Recipe from Swaziland

Mealie Bread is a treat you will find throughout southern Africa. In olden days, it was steamed over a campfire, with little more than ground corn, wrapped up in husks. They used white corn, not sweet, yellow corn. The end result was more of a wet corn pudding.

Today’s southern Africans, however, love mealie bread with more of a bread consistency, so they include flour. The jury is out, however, on whether or not the corn kernels should be pulverized smooth, or left with a few larger bits, as I have done.

Personally, I love how the occasional burst of whole kernels reveals that fresh corn went into this recipe.

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We tried this Mealie Bread for our Swazi Global Table, though it would be as apropos when cooking South Africa or even Lesotho.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 eggs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan … preferably while overlooking a little cloud-dotted beauty, such as this:

Swazi Panorama... Photo by Sara Atkins.

Swazi Panorama… Photo by Sara Atkins.

Next, blend 1 cup of corn, the eggs, and melted butter together until a coarse mixture forms. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of corn and pulse the mixture one or two more times. Leave many kernels whole.

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Next, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

Using a large spoon, combine the dry ingredients with corn mixture until a thick mixture forms.

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Add it to your loaf pan and bake…

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Mine took about 30-35 minutes… let the bread cool slightly before slicing.

If you dare.

That is a true test of patience, my friends.

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Enjoy warm, with butter, and a great appetite… not the least of which is for life.

mealie-bread-ava

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How do you make your cornbread? Any tips or tricks? Do you like it spicy, cheesy, or sweet? Seems like every part of the world has their own special way of doing it. 

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Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Question – when you say “blend” do you mean in a food processor or by hand? It’s a little unclear. Although looking at the picture, it looks like a blender… would a food processor work?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Ah, with a blender… but I think a food processor would work just fine! Just make sure your liquid doesn’t go past the fill line… that’s the only concern (though I don’t expect it will).

  2. I love this..but its a little ‘disturbing”..and I mean that in the way a butterfly flutters by your nose while one might be taking a nap in a hammock :-) Almost all your posts, since I started planning for the party, have made it to my “what to make” list…its a long list and I cant decide…this Mealie Bread would be a great addition……I love it! Ok..I think I’ll go lay in my hammock and be disturbed again…tee..hee.. <3 xoxo<3

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Aw! I’ll help you… we’ll have fun. The key to easy party planning is to pick a theme (color, continent, finger foods only, whatever…) Then, by force, you’re menu is narrowed down by that theme (and all other choices, too). xox

  3. aunty eileen says:

    ….haha What kind of summer and outdoor party is it without tata salads eaten with forks? What I love at big outdoor get togethers. raw vegetables and potato chips and dip for snacking. (I love potato chips at parties because it is not something I usually buy and eat and because I love them, thus it is a special treat. Raw vegetables is also good to have out because this way most likely everyone will find some foods they can eat and enjoy and will never leave feeling hungry) Sirloin tips and pieces of chicken cooked on grill – something to keep some of the guys busy and feeling useful (I have special marinade I like but there are plenty of good ones that most people would enjoy (no buns or condiments needed but could keep bottle of hot sauce on table for those that would like their meat more spicy). And, I like tata salads (macaroni and potato – supplies the starch instead of bothering with bread and rolls. And, I think that recipe of Sasha’s for corn on the cob might be good or some recipe where just have a big pot on stove inside with corn on the cob ready for eating… sitting in butter??? And then the great part ‘fruit’… yes, watermelon for sure, slices AND could make a watermellon fruit bowl from a whole watermellon filled with grapes of different kinds (no seeds only) and balls or cubes of diferent fruits. And, you could even ask a few close friends if they would like to bring a surprise dessert for the dessert table and if too many desserts left over… people would have some nice cookies or brownies pumpkin bread or whatever to wrap in foil and bring home for next day. Well, lots of words and just some ideas… but most important words NO toothpicks. Very dangerous for swallowing and get into emergency room and even intensive care room. It happened to someone that went to party when they accidentally swallowed a toothpic. The said it was the most terrible ordeal and pain they had ever experienced.

  4. Going to make this bread tonight..Not sure if you used AP flour or not..i am trying it with WW pastry ..i really need this to come out good,i have no plan B :-)

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Uhoh! I have no idea about whole wheat pastry flour in this recipe, but I’d love to hear how it goes… I know ww has less gluten, so it might be more crumbly. As for your question, yes it’s just AP Flour (unless specified otherwise, that’s the flour I use). Good luck and enjoy!

  5. It tasted fine even if it was bit undercooked in the middle by my hasty mistake..i stopped using AP flour and i always sub it with WW or WW pastry whenever it is AP ..sometime it works ,sometime it doesn’t ..i also used canned corn which was approx 1-1/2 cups…i liked the taste of it though..very moist..it will be my go to corn bread recipe.

  6. Dutchgirl says:

    So canned corn is a good alternative for frozen corn? Frozen corn is hard to get over here but canned corn is available everywhere.

  7. I made it with canned corn(14-15 oz) and it turned out to be fine,i didn’t add extra water other then what it came in with.It turned out fine for me..I hardly keep frozen corn in hand

  8. I have just made this recipe and whilst it smells divine and tastes delicious it came out a little dry and crumbly.
    Any tips – should I be using more butter or eggs, or cook for less or on a slightly lower heat? Help me save my bread!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Maybe your corn kernels were drier than mine? If the batter seems to thick next time, add a splash more milk. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks Sasha, I had been using frozen kernels and I tried adding a splash of soya milk which helped a lot. Perhaps I’ll use tinned kernels next time as they’ll be a lot more moist.

  9. Made this to go with our favorite chili on Saturday, and it was fantastic. DH doesn’t usually like cornbread – calls it dry and bland. Not this one. :)

    Just one question, though; how big is your loaf pan? I think in the future I’ll end up doubling the recipe, since this barely covered the bottom of even my smaller pan.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I served mine with skillet version Mealie Bread. […]

  2. […] red palm oil – a typical element in West African cooking. On the side – a fat hunk of mealie bread. This is southern Africa’s answer to corn bread (especially popular in South Africa). The […]

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