Whole Grain Cornbread + How Bees Make Honey

wedge of cornbread on plate with honey drizzled over.

Whole-grains and yogurt make Honey Cornbread a nourishing spin on a traditional cornbread recipe! Plus a peek inside a beehive to see how honey is made.

Have you heard about slow food?

It’s a movement to protect food cultures and traditions.

I support the concept, but I’m pushing the envelope.

This Honey Cornbread recipe is not slow food, it’s actually a quick bread, but the honey part? Slow Food.

How I met a life goal

One of my goals has been to produce some of the food I eat. I’m not that good of a farmer, so I turned the food production over to one queen and her 30,000 bees. Or 50,000. They’re really hard to count. 😉 Especially since the life cycle is about six weeks. Anyway, after a year of bee tending, we finally harvested 2 pints of honey.

Now that is slow food.

But so worth the wait!

bee with pollen on legs

Look closely at the bee’s legs. That’s pollen.

How bees pollinate

The phrase Busy Bee is spot on. Bees are pollinators. They move pollen between trees and flowers, a necessary step in producing fruits, nuts, and other crops (notice the yellow pollen from this Meyer lemon on the bee above). One third of global food production volume relies on pollinators.

Pollen is used to feed baby bees. Bees gather nectar from flowers and plants and store it in their ‘crop’ to carry it back to the hive. A beehive may collectively travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make a pound of honey. At home in the hive, bees contribute some of their own enzymes to the nectar, deposit it in honeycomb and then flap their wings to reduce the moisture content. Then it is honey.

Inside a beehive: Meet my bees

The bees are working their way through the honeycomb. See the white band at the top in the photo below? This is capped honey. The bees have completed filling the honeycomb cells and topped it or capped it with beeswax.

The honeycomb below the capped honey is nectar. The bees are depositing nectar and will soon cover it, or cap it. 

honeycomb and bees

Bees fill the honeycomb then seal it with wax.

 

bees-on-honeycomb

The photo shows the frame heavy with capped honey. Heavy indeed. The frame weighs between 2-3 pounds. A gallon of honey weighs 11 pounds, 12 ounces.

Below is honey after it’s been extracted from the honey comb by a centrifuge. It is filtered to remove beeswax and other debris.

filtering extracted honey into a bucket

Honey filled frames are spun in a centrifuge. The honey is filtered to remove wax.

Harvesting honey is a sensual experience. This honey is pale gold with a silky texture and smells earthy and sweet. I think it is absolutely beautiful!

The first year of beekeeping resulted in two pints of honey. It takes time for the hive to establish itself. The end of the second summer of beekeeping the honey harvest yielded about 150 pounds.

Color & flavor of honey

The color and flavor of honey depends on the bees’ nectar source. My bees produce a pale gold wildflower honey. In general, lighter colored honey is milder in flavor while darker honeys tend to have a more robust flavor.

How to store honey

The good news is that honey keeps for a very long time. Ideally, store honey at room temperature (cold temperatures encourage crystallization). Over time most honey crystallizes as the sugar molecules align. These crystals do not mean the honey is old, inferior or spoiled.

How to soften honey

When honey crystallizes, just heat it gently in warm water. Bring a pan of water to boiling. Remove from heat. Set the honey container (without a lid or cap) in the warm water, stir occasionally and allow crystals to melt. You many need to repeat this process. Microwaving is not ideal because of uneven heating, plus honey heats quickly and can boil over.

Cooking with honey

Cooking with honey can add flavor nuances it also impacts recipe characteristics. Because it’s liquid, recipes may require more flour, reduction of other liquids, and a lower temperature. The National Honey Board has honey recipes and info. I also use Taste of Honey, a recipe book.

 

Tablespoon for tablespoon honey is sweeter than sugar and has a few more calories than white or brown sugar. I like to spend those calories drizzled over warm cornbread. I also like Apple Pumpkin Butter on Honey Cornbread.

 slice of cornbread with honey drizzled over top

Homemade whole-grain honey cornbread recipe

Whole-grains, yogurt, and honey make Honey Cornbread taste so good! I used 2 different grinds of cornmeal for added texture, but you can use what you have on hand. The medium-grind is more coarse than enriched cornmeal. Bob’s Red Mill Medium-Grind Cornmeal is what I use. I love the bit of crunch it adds.

How to make skillet cornbread

Cornbread is the all-American quick bread. Baking powder and baking soda cause it to rise quickly in the oven, so make sure the oven is heating before you start mixing the batter. You want the oven hot when you fill the pan so when your cornbread batter is ready the oven is at 400℉.

  1. Mix the egg, yogurt, oil and honey together, then pour all at once in the dry ingredients. I use a Pyrex measuring cup so I can measure and stir as I go. Easier cleanup!
  2. Stir the dry ingredients – flours, corn meal, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. I bake cornbread in hot cast-iron skillet to get a brown crust. I heat the pan while the oven is heating so I can pour the batter in a hot pan – that gives a crisp crust. If you don’t have cast-iron, you can bake it in a glass or metal pan.

Cook’s note: Overmixing the batter makes the cornbread tough. To keep cornbread tender, mix it just until the flour is moist. You may have some dry spots in the batter. If you over mix cornbread, you’ll see holes (tunnels) in the baked bread.

Leftover cornbread? Check out this Cranberry Orange Cornbread Trifle!  Might find you want 2 pans of cornbread just to make the trifle!!

The ingredients

  • 2/3 cup medium-grind cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup enriched corn meal
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Pin it for later!

Whole-grain Honey Cornbread in cast-iron skillet

P.S. Hungry for more healthy living tips and recipes? Sign up for my newsletter right here.

Print

Honey Cornbread

Whole-grains, yogurt and honey make Honey Cornbread taste so good! I used 2 kinds cornmeal for added texture, but you can use what you have on hand. The medium-grind is more coarse than enriched cornmeal.

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2/3 cup medium-grind cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup enriched corn meal
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Place 10-inch cast iron skillet in oven.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, stir egg, milk, yogurt, oil and honey together until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir just enough to combine. There may be visible flour lumps. Over mixing the batter will toughen the cornbread and cause tunnels to form in the bread as it bakes.
  6. Add butter to hot cast-iron skillet. Heat butter until brown and bubbly.
  7. Pour batter into hot skillet and return to middle rack in the oven. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven.
  8. Note: If not using a cast iron skillet, use a 9-inch baking pan. Lightly grease pan with cooking spray or melted butter.

Notes

I used 2 kinds cornmeal for added texture, but you can use what you have on hand. The medium-grind is more coarse than enriched cornmeal. Bob’s Red Mill Medium-Grind Cornmeal is what I use. I love the texture it adds.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 220

Keywords: wholegrain cornbread, how do bees make honey, how to make cornbread

Whole-grain Honey Cornbread recipe | Simple, real food make this wholesome healthy cornbread. Drizzle with honey today. Toast and top with yogurt and berries tomorrow. www.LiveBest.info

Comments

  1. what a beautiful post. I love how you want to grow your food and love that you shared our bees with us. I had no idea ..thanks for taking the time to do this post about how I get my honey
    You are loved by me!

    1. Author

      Hi Chere, The bees help me LiveBest…I’m learning something new, connecting with other beekeepers, sharing a hobby with my husband, and enjoying their gift: honey! Thanks for sharing the love!! Judy

  2. Pingback: Lucky Foods for a Lucky Year (PLUS 3 to Skip!) - Nutrition Nuptials {Recipe Roundup}

  3. Pingback: Lucky Foods for a Lucky Year (PLUS 3 to Skip!) | Food + Movement

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star