Monday, June 5, 2017

My Favorite Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe


I love cornbread. It’s pure comfort food. One that I still indulge in every once in a while.

Cornbread can be a very controversial subject so let me just get something out right here and right now: This post doesn’t profess to be sharing the definitive cornbread recipe because I have no intention on stepping on anyone’s toesies. I’m not going to get into the sugar/no sugar debate because I’m not Southern, I’ve never been to the South and I certainly have no intention of slighting anyone’s grandma. 


I’ve had had traditional Southern cornbread. You know the kind? The one with no wheat flour and no sugar made in a blazing hot cast iron skillet? But I gotta say, not my cup of tea. Or should I say, not my slice of bread? Whatever. Point is, every time I’ve had it, it’s been on the dry side plus I’m not a fan of the crispy, brown, even drier edges. 


For nearly 35 years, I’ve played with cornbread recipes. I’ve made cornbread from white cornmeal and I’ve made it from yellow. I’ve even made it without sugar and with. I’ve made it without added corn kernels and with. I’ve made it using mixes and I’ve made it from scratch. But in the end, I gotta say, I prefer it with a little bit of sugar, a little bit of wheat flour, definitely with buttermilk and most definitely, with whole kernel corn for a bit of added texture and some real corn flavor. 


So, this is my family’s favorite version. I hope you find a place for it in your kitchen, too, even if you have to call it dessert. 


Buttermilk Cornbread

I use oil instead of butter as I find the oil makes a more tender crumb. Feel free to use butter if you prefer. Substitute it one-to-one. Also, don't skip letting the batter rest for 10 minutes before baking off. It really makes a difference by giving the cornmeal time to re-hydrate. 

Makes one 8x8 square pan

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt (or ¼ teaspoon regular salt)
1 cup cold buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup canola oil 
1 cup whole kernel corn

Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over on two sides These will be used as “handles" to lift out the cornbread later. Spray the pan and the parchment lightly with a coat of non-stick spray (I use high quality baker’s spray which has flour in it). Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the corn to the flours. Fold in the wet ingredients using a silicon spatula, pulling the dry ingredients up from the bottom. Don’t over mix, just stir long enough so no dry flour is left. Pour into the prepared pan; let sit for 10 minutes to hydrate the cornmeal. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before lifting out and slicing. Store covered at room temperature for 2 days or refrigerated for up to 4 days (or if using butter, store in refrigerator once cooled).

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