Let me ask you a question, and be honest. Do I make you corny baby, yeah!
Now that we’ve gotten the obvious out of the way…cornbread! In my quest to get away from box mixes, I’ve needed to find a good cornbread recipe for a long time. Instead of experimenting, I’ve just gone without. It’s been a sad time. But the kitchen powers that be had other plans for me and simultaneously brought cornmeal and a reliable recipe for cornbread into my life. One bite and my fate was sealed. This cornbread recipe is just what I’ve been looking for. It’s sturdy enough to stand up to a hearty chili, but tasty enough to eat on its own. It has a pleasing crunch from the cornmeal and bits of real corn kernels to bring it all home. Toasted and smeared with the smallest bit of butter, yum.
To make it, preheat your oven to 400º F. Then, in a large bowl, whisk together 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of cornmeal, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. I used a finely ground, whole grain cornmeal, which resulted in a textured but not too crumbly corn bread. A coarser meal will make for a crumblier cornbread.
To a food processor, add 1 cup of buttermilk, 3/4 cup fresh or defrosted corn kernels, 1/4 cup of packed, light brown sugar, and 2 eggs. Run the food processor for approximately 5 seconds until everything is combined but so that visible pieces of the corn kernels remain. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can measure out 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of regular milk, and add in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. After about 5 minutes, the milk should have thickened and curdled and be looking pretty nasty. Just pour that right in!
Melt 1 stick of butter, and set it aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and then pour the wet ingredients from the food processor in. Stir the ingredients a few times, just until it’s very barely combined. Then, pour in the melted butter, and stir again just until everything is fully combined. Adding the butter at this later stage is supposed to help the cornbread brown.
Grease an 8-inch square baking pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to ensure an easy removal. Pour the cornbread batter into the pan, and smooth out the top.
Bake the corn bread for approximately 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The edges of the cornbread should be golden brown and delicious looking.
Let the cornbread cool until you can handle it, and then pop it out of the pan to cool some more. The corn bread is delicious eaten warm from the oven, but I preferred it even more the next day, after it sat wrapped in tin foil overnight. What’s your favorite way to eat cornbread? Should I try to make croutons out of any leftovers?
This recipe is adapted from Cooking at Home with America’s Test Kitchen.
- All-purpose flour- 1.5 cups
- Cornmeal- 1 cup
- Baking powder- 2 teaspoons
- Salt- 3/4 teaspoon
- Baking soda- 1/4 teaspoon
- Buttermilk- 1 cup
- Corn kernels- 3/4 cup
- Light brown sugar- 1/4 cup, packed
- Eggs- 2
- Butter- 1 stick