Chimodho is cornbread from Zimbabwe, where it also goes under the name of Mupotohayi. Many countries have their own versions of cornbread, sometimes several versions each; this is the first one I’ve made and I can’t vouch for it being dramatically different from a cornbread that you might get in the US, Italy or anywhere else. I can’t even vouch for it being the one and only Zimbabwean version: according to Zimbabwean blogger Princess Tafadzwa, “Chimodho” means pretty much any homemade bread without a recipe. But I will vouch for it being one of the nicest quick bakes on this blog so far: soft, flavourful and impossibly moreish. It’s the perfect accompaniment to an autumnal soup.
I started from a recipe on zimbokitchen.com, which I used pretty much intact apart from halving the sugar content. I’m glad to have done so, since the result was in no way lacking in sweetness, but your taste may differ. I also might try making this as muffins next time rather than as a single loaf, because the crust really is sensationally good.
- 250ml buttermilk
- 90ml sunflower oil
- 1 egg
- 180g coarse cornmeal
- 170g plain flour
- 50g sugar
- 6g (1 tsp) salt
- 3g (½ tsp) baking soda
- 4g (1 tsp) baking powder
- Preheat oven to 175℃ fan.
- Put the buttermilk, oil and egg into the bowl of your stand mixer; beat with the egg beater until very smooth.
- Mix cornmeal, plain flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder evenly in a bowl, then sift them into a different bowl. Make sure that the mix is very even.
- Add the dry mix to the wet mix, then mix thoroughly with the ordinary paddle of your stand mixer until you have a smooth dough, which will be fairly wet. Leave for five minutes or so.
- In the meantime, grease a baking tin with butter.
- Pour the mixture into the baking tin and smooth it out to an even shape.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the bread comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack.