Thursday, September 28, 2006
Simple Skillet Cornbread
Let your inner Southern granny shine through with my favorite recipe for cornbread. There are no frills like diced jalepenos or chipotle peppers here. This is simple, delicious food that depends on good quality, stone ground cornmeal and buttermilk for its moist, yet crumbly texture. The technique of adding melted butter from your oven-heated cast iron skillet to the batter is genius. You then pour the surprisingly light batter into the hot, butter-coated skillet and watch it sizzle as a crisp, brown crust immediately begins to form. I do have to recommend that you use a heavy, NOT nonstick skillet such as an old-fashioned cast iron pan, in order to form that lovely crust. If your pan is smaller or larger than my 9-inch skillet, just add or subtract a bit of baking time and tent the cornbread with foil if the top browns too quickly.
Whether you are eating this cornbread with Southern barbecue like we did in my previous post, or with another homey dish such as chili or fish stew, it will become a favorite in your repertoire. You can easily whip up the batter in 5 minutes and bake it while you prepare the rest of the meal. It's quite healthy in its simplicity, and I guarantee you will start looking for reasons to bake this bread (hint: it is also amazing topped with a runny fried egg for breakfast)!
Adapted from Hodgson Mill (on the back of the cornmeal bag)
1 c. stone ground cornmeal (132 g)
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (125 g)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tblsp. honey
1 ½ c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tblsp. butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the honey. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the buttermilk. Add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine with your whisk or a wooden spoon. Meanwhile, put the butter in a 9-inch cast iron skillet and place it in the oven until the butter melts completely. Pour the hot butter into the batter and combine. Immediately pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake in the center of the oven for 23-26 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve immediately or keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. This bread reheats very well in the microwave on low power.