Black Pepper Cornbread Sticks from Ladies' Home Journal Magazine, November 2012

How do you cure the hiccups when you get them? I’ve just discovered that Black Pepper Cornbread Sticks give me hiccups and they won’t go away, the irritating little pests.

I remember the first time a ‘cure’ actually worked on me. I was in Italy with Hubby and we were out at a local festival with friends in Cossato. Something (probably an over-indulgence of alcohol) gave me hiccups and after being funny for a little while, their persistence gave way to discomfort and annoyance.

So, our friend called over a server, rattled off something in Italian and sent the young man away with a dramatic flick of her hand (I’d love to learn that gesture, I really would). Moments later he returned with a small plate of thinly sliced lemons.

‘Eat, eat,’ she coaxed, pushing them in front of me. So, I did. And just like that, with just a couple of chews of that tart, delicious lemon slice, the hiccups were gone.

The only other person that’s been able to cure my hiccups is my sister. ¬†Mostly as a way to stop the annoying noise that hiccuping creates for those around the hiccuper, she closed the magazine she was reading in frustration, looked at me and said, ‘I’ll give you $5 if you’ll hiccup again.’

Doggone if I couldn’t do it.

Apparently, reminiscing can also cure the hiccups, because since telling your those two stories, my hiccups are gone. Ah, that feels so much better.

Should these breadsticks give you the hiccups, I recommend finding someone with five dollars.

The Process

I would guess that this ranks up there as a pretty typical bread recipe. The directions call for the use of a stand mixer, which I don’t own, so I kneaded my dough by hand. If you do it that way, five to seven minutes works just fine and brings together a beautiful smooth and elastic dough.

I did find that I needed to add quite a bit more flour, a full half cup more, than the ingredients called for; 2 3/4 cups total. Other than that, the breadsticks came together easily and baked up a beautiful golden brown after 11 minutes. I also ended up with 28 breadsticks, not 20.

The Verdict

The cornmeal prevents these from having a chewy breadstick consistency, so be ready for that. Because there is so much flour to bind the cornmeal, the sticks don’t fall apart like regular cornbread will, however. I would guess that it took some amount of work to come up with the right measurements to get these breadsticks to hold together as beautifully as they do without being hard as rocks.

But, LHJ did it. These are really good. I’ve munched on a couple and now that Hubby’s home, he’s already diving into them as well. The black pepper comes through nicely; not too strong, but definitely present in flavor and a tiny bit of heat. I like it. I like it a lot,

What I’d Do Different Next Time

Not a thing.

Black Pepper Cornbread Sticks from Ladies' Home Journal Magazine, November 2012
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • ½ cup warm milk, plus 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 large egg yolks, plus 1 yolk for egg wash
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 cups bread flour
Instructions
  1. In a mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine warm milk, water, and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand until foamy, about 10 min. Add 3 egg yolks, salt, pepper, butter, cornmeal and flour; mix on low speed for 2 minutes, then beat until dough is smooth and soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, turn to coat bowl with oil and cover with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with extra cornmeal. Punch back the dough, and divide into 20 balls (1½ ounces each). Roll into ropes and place on prepared baking sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place to rise for 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining egg yolk and the remaining tablespoon milk. Brush tops of rolls with egg wash. Sprinkle with extra cornmeal. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Makes 20 breadsticks.

 

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