Cornbread is such a great dish to make, as it can go well with many different types of meals.
Many people make it to accompany barbecue dishes, but it’s perfect for other types of meals as well. Homemade cornbread is certainly going to make your family happy if you make it to perfection.
When you make it at home, you might notice that the top cracks a little bit. Why does cornbread crack and is it supposed to do this?
Read on to learn everything that you need to know. You’ll have a better understanding of what’s truly going on when this occurs.
Cornbread Is a Type of Quick Bread
Did you know that cornbread is considered to be a type of quick bread? If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to types of bread that can be baked fast.
Quick bread is a category that includes many popular types of bread. All of these bread types don’t contain yeast.
These types of bread are very popular to make as side dishes. People make different types to go alongside meals.
Since you can make quick bread fast, it’s always easy to whip some up. Cornbread is among the most popular and regularly consumed types in many regions of the United States.
It doesn’t take long to bake cornbread. Generally, it’ll be done in a matter of minutes.
There are other types of quick bread, too. These types of bread usually crack on top because they’ve been baked so fast.
It isn’t unusual for this to happen in any way. You expect cornbread to be cracked on top when you make it.
Why is it that this occurs, though? The bread cracks on top because the outside of the bread cooks faster than the inside.
Cracks (Generally) Aren’t a Problem
Cracks generally aren’t a problem when you’re making cornbread. You should expect to see minor cracks on the top of the bread each time that you make it.
So long as you don’t have severe cracks, it’s not something to worry about. Many people say that minor cracks are a good sign for cornbread.
Deep cracks and large gaps aren’t going to be good, though. If this occurs, it could be because of something that you did wrong.
Thankfully, it’s easy enough to prevent issues such as this by knowing which mistakes to avoid. Below, you’ll learn about what causes deep cracks and gaps when making cornbread.
Mixing Too Much
Mixing the cornbread is a pretty easy process. When you’re mixing all of the ingredients, it’s important not to overdo it.
You’re supposed to only mix the ingredients until the dry ingredients have become moist. If you continue to mix everything for too long, it’ll create issues with big cracks.
If you’re seeing huge gaps or cracks in your cornbread, you likely mixed the ingredients too much. Perhaps you used an electric mixer and didn’t stop at the appropriate time.
Learn from this mistake and approach things differently next time. You should get much better results.
Waiting Too Long to Bake the Bread
Waiting too long to bake the bread can also be a problem. Sometimes this happens when you mix everything up and then allow the bread mix to sit on the counter instead of baking it right away.
When this occurs, you’ll often see the bread sink in the middle. Cracks will form on the cornbread, and the bread will also be sort of deflated in the middle.
Do your best to avoid letting the bread mix sit on the counter after you’ve mixed it up. Don’t wait to put it into the oven.
You want to mix the cornbread up just before you plan to bake it. Stick to doing things this way and sunken cornbread issues won’t be something you’ll have to worry about again.
Don’t overcook the cornbread either. Sometimes allowing it to bake too long will cause issues.
Often, this will cause it to be dry and crumbly. It’s normal for cornbread to be a bit crumbly, but it can be bad when it’s overcooked.
Do your best to stick to the normal baking time for the recipe that you’re following. Check the cornbread when it gets close to time and you should be able to prevent issues with excessive cracking.
Whenever you’re baking a type of quick bread, you want to avoid baking the bread for longer than you’re supposed to. Even a few minutes too long can wind up being detrimental.
Consider Preheating an Iron Skillet
Many cornbread connoisseurs say that using an iron skillet for cornbread is the best. You can preheat an iron skillet to get excellent results.
The basic idea is to put an iron skillet in the oven to preheat it to the desired temperature. Pull it out when it’s ready and then grease the pan.
Once the pan has been properly greased, you can add the bread mix. You’ll get better results and shouldn’t have to deal with cracking issues quite so much.
Of course, this might seem like a pain. Also, you’ll have to be careful when using a hot iron skillet.
You should feel much better about things after reading the information above. It’s normal to have a crack or two appear when you’re making cornbread.
Since cornbread is a type of quick bread, it’s expected for cracks to form. Too many cracks can be negative, but one or two likely won’t matter.
Deep cracks and gaps in the cornbread won’t be desirable. Issues such as this happen when you do too much mixing when preparing the bread.
They can also be related to issues with baking the bread too long or even leaving the mix on the counter for too long after preparing it. You always want to bake the cornbread right away after you prepare the mix.
Now that you know this, you should have a simple time avoiding common mistakes. Do your best and you’ll be able to enjoy delicious cornbread with your family soon enough.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.