Cornbread is as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. But make no mistake about it, there are loads of opinions about which recipe is the clear winner. To my northern palette, this is the best cornbread I ever tasted!
Traditionally, Northerners prefer a sweeter cornbread while a Southern cook would never add sugar to hers. In the Southwest, cornbread is often spiced up with lots of onion and peppers.
I was looking for a cornbread recipe to serve with my savory, rather salty ham and bean soup. This one has a little more sugar than most, and butter. Lots of butter! So it had to be good. (And it did not disappoint!)
Since sweet and salty is a tried and true combination, I chose this recipe.
This cornbread fascinated me from the get-go. Not because of what's in it. The ingredients are pretty typical. I just love how it goes together! This was fun!
For starters, everything happens in a cast-iron skillet and I love that! From mixing to baking to serving, it's all in one pan! Yay!
Melt a WHOLE STICK of butter over low heat in a cast-iron skillet, then stir in 2/3 cup of sugar. Remove the pan from heat. Next, beat two eggs, and working quickly, stir the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk and just 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. When they meet, it all gets excited and bubbly. This is all it takes for the whole tender, moist loaf!
The secret to this type of leavening is combining an acidic ingredient, in this case, buttermilk, with an alkaline ingredient, baking soda. The resulting bubbles are the thing that makes the bread rise!
If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute milk that has been soured with the additon of lemon juice or vinegar. Put 2 tablespoons of either one in a one cup measure and fill it with milk.
Another possibility is using sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. If you choose that option, I suggest you thin it with milk until it's approximately the consistency of buttermilk. Try 1/3 cup milk and fill the cup measure with yogurt or sour cream.
When you add the buttermilk and soda mixture to the sugar/butter/egg mixture in the skillet it bubbles up! So cool! Stir this all together well.
All that's left to do is stir in the cornmeal and flour along with a wee bit of salt. Stir well. There should be almost no lumps.
If you bake it in the skillet, just pop it on the oven at 375 degrees and bake it for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the thickest part comes out clean.
Here's what your finished loaf will look like! The top will be lightly browned.
Cut in wedges and serve warm. Papa added butter and honey but for me, it was perfect just like it came out of the oven!
I crumbled it into my bowl of ham and bean soup and savored every last drop! This morning, I had another wedge for breakfast! Yep, I am hooked! The best cornbread ever!
There's something deliciously homey and comforting about cornbread. It's simple and humble, but it's the perfect partner to a bowl of soup on a cold night.
Do you put butter and honey on your cornbread? Have you ever crumbled it into your soup? Did you ever eat it like cereal for breakfast, broken in pieces with milk and sugar? Such happy childhood memories!
What's your cornbread story?
If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you!
Love, GB (Betty Streff)
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