I don’t remember the first time I had cornbread, but it must have made a great impression….any time I make chili, it isn’t complete unless there’s cornbread (usually two pans worth).
I love cornbread baked in a hot cast iron frying pan, but in a regular cake pan or casserole is just fine, too. Crispy edges are lovely, but not strictly necessary.
My current favourite recipe is from the Food Network, but I find most recipes are similar enough to be interchangeable.
- 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 8 TB butter, melted – 7 TB for the batter and 1 TB for the pan (if you use salted or margarine, drop the 1 tsp of salt above to 1/2 or less)
Preheat the oven to 425 F and place a 9″ cast iron frying pan in to heat while you make the batter. Do NOT use a regular frying pan with a coated handle or a non-stick frying pan. If you don’t have a cast iron frying pan, just make this in a cake pan, it will taste fantastic and you won’t poison yourself or start an oven fire.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the wet ingredients except 1 TB of the melted butter.
Remove the hot pan from the oven, reduce heat to 375 F. Add the 1 TB of reserved butter to the pan and coat the bottom and sides with it. Pour the batter into the pan and place the pan back in the oven. Bake until the centre is firm or a toothpick or knife tip inserted in the centre comes out clean. (20 to 25 minutes). Allow to cool for 10 minutes…..yeah, right!….and serve.
If you are using a baking pan, time for 20 minutes and test and add time if needed. Different types of pans need different times so don’t be afraid to add time 5 or 10 minutes at a time and test each time, until it’s done.
If you don’t have buttermilk….pour 1 TB of lemon juice or white vinegar into your 1 cup measuring cup and fill the rest up with milk. Let sit 10 minutes and good to go.