The turning of the seasons toward chilly weather always draws me closer to my happy practice of baking. I found myself recently getting curious about cornbread, which I had not made in quite awhile. Checking my Joy of Cooking for ideas I found they listed recipes for both northern cornbread and southern cornbread, adding to my curiosity. I posted a quick question to Facebook, where I am blessed to be connected to a wide spectrum of gardening bloggers (and cooks) from across the country (and world, in actuality), many in Southern states, asking if, in fact, Southerners still bake cornbread in a skillet. The quick response was YES, they do, with the implication that unless it’s baked in a skillet, it’s not regarded as authentic. So I took that to heart and whipped up the bread pictured above. And it was a rousing success and lasted longer than I expected it to. Here’s what I did:
I preheated the oven to 450º F. I oiled a 9″ skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil. Then I whisked together:
1 3/4 C. cornmeal [Note: Southerners prefer white cornmeal if it's to be really authentic.]
1 T. sugar [Note: There are Southerners who insist on no sugar.]
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
Then, in a second bowl I whisked 2 large eggs (organic, always) and 2 C. of buttermilk.
Then, unbelieveably, you simply add wet ingredients to dry and whisk minimally. Pour batter into the skillet, pop in the oven and pull out when the top is slightly brown and the center is firm. This takes simply 20-25 minutes. How easy is that??
Now, in the light of the frigid weather Northern California is experiencing, it occurred to me that today might be an excellent day to revisit northern cornbread, which I have made in the past. Here’s how that goes:
Preheat the oven to 425º F. Oil a muffin pan with a bit of olive oil. Then whisk together:
1 1/4 C cornmeal [Northerners use yellow cornmeal.]
3/4 C. unbleached white flour
2 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
In a second bowl whisk together 2 large organic eggs, 2/3 C. milk and 2/3 C. buttermilk.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, again mixing minimally.
Then fold 3 T. unsalted melted butter into this batter. You can do this quickly. You don’t want to overmix cornbread batter.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins.
Place in the oven only 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. I ran a knife around each to pop out of the muffin tin. Place in a lovely cloth in a basket and serve hot with butter.
I find either of these recipes a wonderful addition to the holiday table. Classic and time tested goodness. Enjoy!
Love and kitchen blessings,
Book News: Good news. The winter issue of GreenWoman Magazine is sporting an excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy and we’ve just been advised that GreenPrint Magazine, out of North Carolina, will also be soon publishing an excerpt as well. Also exciting is that a number of new reviews have been posted to our American Amazon.com page, including a wonderful review by Chel Michelene, one of Amazon’s top reviewers! It is deeply gratifying that nearly all our reviews are 5-star! Please consider giving a copy of Plant Whatever Brings You Joy to your favorite gardener! Thank you!
Posted on December 8th, 2013 by Kathryn
Filed under: People at Life