I am a sucker for homemade breads. And I have a soft spot for homemade cornbread that little else can fill. Homemade cornbread was a staple in my meals growing up and it was one of the first things I learned how to bake. Growing up in the semi-South dictated that it must be slightly sweet and we ate it with everything from venison chili, fried crappie (if you don't know what that is, you are missing out), wild turkey and fried potatoes, to smeared with apple butter. It has been and continues to be a childhood favorite that makes me miss home. And it's hard to get right - you want it to have a nice crust on top and bottom, but tender on the inside. I thought I'd never nail it until now.
This cornbread, as mentioned above, is versatile, but I chose to have it with a simple breakfast. I cannot stress to you the importance of simple, quality ingredients - they make all the difference. Use real butter and stone ground cornmeal. And eat it with local honey.
Golden Cornbread (recipe adapted from Bob's Red Mill Cornmeal)
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Medium Grind Cornmeal
1 cup unbleached white flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a cast iron skillet, pour just enough canola oil to cover the bottom. Make sure that the entire skillet bottom is covered.
3. Place the skillet into the oven so that it gets nice and hot while you are mixing the ingredients for the cornbread (this is a crucial step - this is what helps the cornbread get a nice crust on the bottom).
4. Sift together all dry ingredients EXCEPT cornmeal into a bowl; whisk in cornmeal.
5. Heat up butter until just melted. Set aside.
6. Gently whisk the egg, making sure not to over-whisk.
7. Add the melted butter, egg, and milk to the dry ingredients.
8. Mix until all ingredients are combined but DO NOT OVERMIX. Some lumps may appear in the batter.
9. Carefully remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and place on a stable, heat-resistant surface.
10. Pour the cornbread batter into the hot skillet and spread evenly.
11. Bake for 20-25 minutes (the top crust should be a nice golden brown).
12. Allow the cornbread to sit in the skillet for a minute or two and then loosen the edges with a butter knife.
13. Dump out cornbread onto a wire rack and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
14. Enjoy warm with real butter and a drizzle of local honey.
Happy Monday, friends!
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