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Balkan Cornbread

  • Author: Balkan Lunch Box
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x


Whoever came up with phrase “breaking bread” had no idea they were talking about Balkan cornbread: a slightly sweet, sturdy, comfort staple you don’t use a knife to cut, but break it apart old-school – with your hands.


  • 17.6 ounces corn flour (finely ground corn meal or maize) 
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons oil + a little more
  • 13.5 ounces of boiling water 


  1. Heat oven to 480°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine corn flour, egg, sugar, salt and oil.  Mix with a wooden spatula as much as the ingredients will allow. Make a dent in the middle of the mixture and start adding a little bit of water at a time and continue while working ingredients with the spatula.
  3. When you’ve exhausted all the water, and mixed ingredients to the max with spatula, start kneading with your hands. (The consistency of dough will be similar to wet sand.) Continue kneading a few minutes until you form a smooth dough ball. 
  4. Transfer the dough bowl into a well-oiled, round, 9-inch pan. Flatten the dough ball and even out with your hands so that it’s of the same thickness everywhere. Lightly oil a plastic scraper and make a circle with it, slightly separating the dough from pan walls. Use the spatula to smooth out any creases in the dough.
  5. Place pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.* Turn the pan 180 degrees and cover with foil. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes. Use a toothpick to prick in a few places to check whether the bread is finished. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done. If not, bake a little longer and repeat the test.
  6. Take a clean kitchen towel and wet it. Squeeze out extra liquid until the kitchen towel is damp, but not dripping with water.  Take the bread out of the oven and place in the damp kitchen towel. Let it cool for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Eat cornbread warm. Store in a plastic bag. If eating the following day, soften in milk or stew. 


Unlike most recipes on the site, you should be very precise with volumes. Use a digital scale to weigh the corn flour while use measuring cups for water. Be careful when working with boiling water.

*Baking time (and temperature) will depend on your oven. Mine currently runs on a weak side. If cornbread blushes earlier, cover it with foil at that time. Use the toothpick method to determine when it’s finished. 


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of cornbread
  • Calories: 614
  • Sugar: 8.4g
  • Sodium: 98mg
  • Fat: 19.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 103.4g
  • Fiber: 9.1g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 41mg

Keywords: cornbread, corn bread

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