Cast Iron Mielie and Baby Marrow Braai Bread


It’s quite a mouthful of a title but then my Cast Iron Mielie and Baby Marrow Braai Bread is packed with so much flavour there was no way to shorten it. It’s deliciously and surprisingly light for a bread. In fact it’s closer to a muffin in texture than bread. The inspiration came from Ottolenghi’s Simple Book. Here’s a roundup of more of his corn recipes published in The Guardian in 2018. When I started off this morning with the idea of using up some baby marrows and jalapeños in my fridge I was expecting to make giant muffins. I aslo had polenta and this triggered my memory of Ottolenghi’s Cornbread with cheddar, feta and jalapeño. My version is a slightly lighter version with no cheddar and sour cream. I’ve added the baby marrows because that was my original intention and a lighter buttermilk alternative. I love the lightness of the crumb too. Definitely one to keep on this list for your braai this summer.

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For an alternative mielie mix why not try my Mexi-Corn Muffins for a office snack or school lunch

This recipe is perfect for a take along gift for the summer holidays. Your hostess can serve it with a braai or freeze it and enjoy for another occasion. I grew up in the eighties where corn bread was boiled in a can and served at braais’ It was pale and anemic looking. This is a far cry from the 80’s thank goodness. I believe bread needs to be baked not steamed to get the intense flavours that form from the maillard reaction. This is where the flavours pop and intensify. This doesn’t happen when breads are steamed. It has a place, but it’s not my first choice of method or technique for bread making.

Corn and Butter Bean Chilli Cups

Cast Iron Mielie and Baby Marrow Braai Bread

Servings 10


Vegetables and cheese

  • 100 g frozen corn
  • 120 g baby marrow coarsely grated
  • 40 g jalapeño chilli – pips removed and roughly chopped substitute green pepper if you don't like chilli
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbls miso paste Optional
  • 100 g feta crumbled

Dry Ingredients

  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 150 g polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 225 g buttermilk
  • 2 exl eggs
  • 100 g light olive oil or oil of choice plus 2 Tbls extra for the pan


  • Preheat oven on to 180℃ and place a cast iron pan (25cm) inside to get hot while you make the batter

Vegetables and Cheese

  • In a large pan add the corn, baby marrows and jalapeño and cook dry fried for 3 minutes. The marrows do have moisture so this stops the mix from sticking to the pan.
    100 g frozen corn, 120 g baby marrow coarsely grated, 40 g jalapeño chilli – pips removed and roughly chopped
  • Now add the zest, cumin and miso paste and stir to evenly coat the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. Miso is salty so taste to ensure it's to your satisfaction. If you decide to leave it out you may like to add more salt. Add the feta to the pan once the vegetables have cooled
    1 lemon zest, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 Tbls miso paste Optional, 100 g feta crumbled

Dry Ingredients

  • In a separate bowl whisk the flour, polenta, baking powder, bicarb and salt together.
    150 g self-raising flour, 150 g polenta, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • In a separate jug whisk the buttermilk, eggs and olive oil together.
    225 g buttermilk, 2 exl eggs, 100 g light olive oil or oil of choice
  • Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to a sticky batter
    Fold in the vegetables and cheese to ensure they are distributed evenly through the batter
  • Remove the hot cast iron pan from the oven and pour in 2 Tbls olive oil to evenly coat the base and sides of pan. Place on a baking sheet and pour in the batter. Bake for 40 minutes. It is cooked when a skewer is inserted and comes out clean.
  • optional – Press some finely sliced red onions into the batter before baking


If you are looking for alternative vegetable ideas for dinner, why not just make the vegetable part in this recipe and serve with a salad and choice of protein.

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