The optional bacon ingredient will add a smoky flavour to this moist, savoury bread.
4 slices bacon, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup grated Canadian cheddar
2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dried thyme leaves (or 2 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cooked sweet potato mash* (from two 6"-long sweet potatoes)
2 large eggs
1 tbsp white vinegar
* To quickly cook sweet potatoes for this recipe, slice unpeeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Lay cut sides down on microwave-safe dish, cook on high for about 8 minutes, or until the halves can be easily pierced with a pairing knife. When they've cooled sufficiently to handle, scoop out flesh and fill measuring cup by mashing in sweet potato.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F.
Step 2: Butter 8" x 8" glass or ceramic baking dish.
Step 3: Cook chopped bacon in frying pan on medium heat until just beginning to brown but not crispy. Set aside.
Step 4: Put milk and butter in microwavable measuring cup, microwave on medium-high heat for approximately 30 seconds to melt butter and heat milk.
Step 5: Stir cornmeal into milk mixture. Set aside to soak (this helps soften the cornmeal for baking).
Step 6: In large bowl, mix flour, cheese, brown sugar, baking powder, thyme, baking soda and salt.
Step 7: In another bowl, mix mashed sweet potato with eggs. Stir in cornmeal mixture. Pour into dry ingredients. Add vinegar and cooked bacon, if using, scraping pan drippings into batter. Mix until just combined.
Step 8: Spread in buttered baking dish.
Step 9: Bake 25-28 minutes or until centre springs back when gently pressed. Do not overbake. Let stand a few minutes before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf