Corn Bread with Fennel Seed, Cranberries & Sultanas

*Corn Bread with Fennel Seed, Cranberries & Sultanas*
Makes 2 loaves (8 X 4 X 3 inch)

This lovely loaf can be made up to three days ahead. You can either bake it in two loaf tins, or in small loaf tins, in which case it will make 10 very small loaves. This is delicious and works well with salads, cheese plates or just on it's own, sliced and buttered.  Adapted from a recipe found in a book entitled The Best American Recipes from 2002/2003, and attributed to Gourmet Magazine.

1 1/3 cups plain flour (185g)
115g yellow cornmeal/polenta (2/3 cup, not coarse)
65g granulated sugar (1/3 cup)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 tsp salt
330ml buttermilk (1 1/2 cups, well shaken)
180g butter, melted and cooled (3/4 cup)
2 large free range eggs, beaten
45g sultana raisins, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup golden raisins)
45g dried cranberries, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 TBS fennel seeds, coarsely crushed with a pestle and mortar, or pulsed briefly in a coffee grinder

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter two 8 X 4 X 3 inch loaf tins (or 10 small loaf tins) well, and dust with flour, shaking out any excess.  Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, sultanas, cranberries and fennel seeds.  Make a well in the centre.  Beat together the melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs.  Add all at once to the dry mixture, and stir together just to combine.  Divide between the two loaf pans, smoothing the tops.  Let stand for 10 minutes. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes (20 - 25 minutes or small loaf tins), or until the tops are golden brown and a skewe inserted in the centre of a loaf comes out clean.  Place on a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before tipping out onto the wire rack to cool completely.

Wrap tighly and store for up to three days prior to eating. Cut into slices to serve.

Note - I don't see why this cannot also be baked in medium muffin tins for the same length of time as you would mini loaves.
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