Cornbread is one of the recipes that developed in the American South because of poverty and necessity but has stuck around to become a classic. It was originally made with solely cornmeal, because wheat flour wasn’t often readily available or affordable in the South for a long time. Some purists (and those with gluten allergies) still make it with just cornmeal, but the texture can be tricky when done that way. Another major problem with cornbread is that it can be really dry and bitter. I’ve successfully, in my opinion, avoided both of these pitfalls by using buttermilk and honey, respectively.
Having your own, delicious cornbread recipe on hand is just one of those things that old-school Southern women do. It’s wonderful as a side with big group meals, like Thanksgiving, and works well alongside things like stews and chilies for soaking up extra juices and staving off heat. This is my own version of cornbread. It may be a bit cocky to say at just 20 years old, but I think that this is pretty excellent and will be my go-to recipe for dinner parties and family suppers from now on.
-1 cup ground corn meal*
-¾ cup plain flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-¼ teaspoon salt
-90 grams of melted butter (about 6.5 tablespoons)
-2 tablespoons honey
-1 cup buttermilk**
-2 dollops soured cream
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Heavily butter an 8 or 10 inch cake tin. A springform or cheesecake tin is particularly nice for this recipe as well.
2. Combine the corn meal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in one bowl, mixing until you have a fairly homogenous mixture.
3. In a separate bowl combine the butter, honey, eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream. Whisk the mixture until the egg yolks are broken and mixed in and until there are no more “dry spots” in the batter. It should still be lumpy, though, so don’t over-mix it.
4. Pour the combination of wet ingredients in with the dry ingredient mixture and stir all the ingredients together until combined. Yet again, be sure not to over-mix!
5. Pour it all into the baking tin and put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. You’ll want to start checking to see if the top has turned golden brown at about 8 minutes—this recipe ALWAYS cooks faster than you would expect.
6. The cornbread is done when you can stick a fork in the center and have it come out clean. When it is done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes—if you’re that patient. Serve as a side dish or eat as a snack! I recommend it with my Paprika-Spiked White Chili.
Photo Credit: Emily Grant
See Emily’s recipe for chilli as a great accompaniment to her cornbread!