Ina Garten's Simple Ingredient Tip For Moist Cornbread Muffins

It's no secret that Ina Garten is a fan of cornbread, and it's fair to say she knows a lot about working with cornmeal. The "Barfoot Contessa" star openly shared on the Food Network that her love affair with this ingredient burgeoned because of her dad's affection for cornmeal muffins. For that reason, Garten has shared countless cornmeal recipes that vary from the sweet to the savory to the in-between. 

Readers of her "Make It Ahead" cookbook were treated to a recipe for loaves of sour cream cornbread, but if you have ever tried your hand at making this bread yourself, you may have found that it can be difficult to produce a nice moist end product. Your cornmeal muffins end up dry, crumbly, and just not as appetizing as you had hoped they would be. Sometimes it can be a result of overcooking or overmixing, but sometimes your cornbread is dry for another reason. Garten revealed that there is an easy fix for this problem and it all starts with the ingredients you are mixing up.  

The size of the cornmeal matters

Garten revealed on the Food Network that when she makes cornmeal muffins she uses finely ground cornmeal for a moister bite that your teeth and mouth will appreciate. Why a fine grind? This is a case where size matters. The larger the grind, the slower it will be when it comes to absorbing your wet ingredients. Translation — cornmeal muffins made with coarse cornmeal are predestined to be dry. So, if you are planning ahead to make cornmeal muffins, when you are shopping at the grocery read the label closely to make certain you are purchasing a fine grind. The taste and texture of your baked goods will benefit from it.

Additionally, if you are still finding your cornmeal muffins are not as soft as you want them to be even after you've switched to fine-ground cornmeal, you can always experiment with the old standbys of adding some buttermilk as a substitute for milk or sour cream to your mix. Either addition will help soften up the crumb and will add a tangy flavor to your cornmeal muffins that compliment the naturally sweet flavor.