Quick breads are one of the easiest things to make. And if they’re made well, they’re impressive and delicious. They only require a few pantry-staple ingredients, and take only a few moments to throw together. If you’re from or have visited the American South, you’re definitely familiar with cornbread. If you’ve never encountered this delicious beast, I pity you.
I make this recipe following the one in my BHG cookbook. I don’t always love their recipes but this one is pretty hard to get wrong. ;)
Now, if you’re a fan of Alton Brown or are a knowledgeable baker, you’re familiar with the Muffin Method. You have a group of dry ingredients, a group of wet ingredients, and you stir them together. That’s what we’re gonna do.
Here’s your dry goods:
flour – 1 cup
cornmeal – 3/4 cup
sugar – 2 to 3 tbsp
baking powder – 2 1/2 tsp
salt – 3/4 tsp
In your cast iron pan (that’s important), melt the butter. It’ll only take a few moments. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Combine your ingredients into two bowls. Mix both thoroughly.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir gently. You do not want to produce a perfectly smooth batter – it should be a bit lumpy. (This picture is NOT stirred – it does need to be stirred more than this.)
Pour the batter right into the cast iron pan. The butter on the bottom may travel up and lay around the edges – that’s okay. Slide the whole pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Perform a standard toothpick test to make sure it’s done. (Just poke a toothpick in near the center. It should come out dry.) If it’s not, put it back in for a few more minutes.
Cut it and lift out a wedge. The bottom of your cornbread will be a glorious golden brown and delicious color.
When you open it up, it’ll have a lovely spongelike texture. Can you see the steam rising? Does it make your mouth water? I like mine with a bit of butter, preferably next to a bowl of slow-cooked beans.