Corn Bread

A couple of weeks ago, in the throws of school and packing and house hunting, Hawley sent me a bunch of recipes to contribute to the site, cause she knew I was going crazy.  Of course, I didn't get to them right away, but here we are and we are back, at least until I have to unplug in a month and relocate my studio/office.  But until then, the stories and recipes will once again flow.  Thanks for being patient and thanks for continuing to come back to the site!

Today's recipe is cornbread... I am putting both Hawley's and my version of this recipe out there.  They are a tad different, but both are delicious and I know everyone usually has a reason why they like their cornbread a certain way.

Here's Hawley's:

When I got married, my mother-in-law gave me a cast iron frying pan and said that I would use this more than any other pan.  I did and I still do.  I love my black cast-iron pan.  I use it for pancakes, bacon, fried eggs, cornbread and just about anything that needs to be browned.  Here is a great recipe for cornbread that is cooked in the oven in the skilled.  Who would have thought?

2-1/4 c cornmeal (I use fairly fine ground cornmeal - Red Hill, Albers)
2 c buttermilk
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
2 eggs

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Put cornmeal on rimmed cookie sheet and put in the middle of the rack of oven.  Let roast for approximately 5 minutes or until it starts to be fragrant.  Transfer hot cornmeal to mixing bowl and whisk in buttermilk.  Set aside.  Add oil to cast iron skillet and heat up in the oven until just starts to smoke, about 5 minutes.  take out and add butter.  Let the butter melt.  Pour all but 1T of oil into cornmeal-buttermilk mixture.  Whisk in remaining ingredients into cornmeal.  Put into the cast-iron skillet and bake until top starts to crack and sides are brown.  Remove and serve warm with whipped butter and honey.

My version goes somewhat like this.... My mother fed an army.  Everything was in large pans and in large quantities, except her cornbread.  She too, used a black, well seasoned cast-iron skillet pan.  Now, she used two of them, cause of course, one pan of cornbread would not have fed our large family.   She never had a recipe (as with most of her cooking) and when I was in my early 20s, I searched and searched for a recipe similar to hers.  After much trial and error (and  recipe page that looks the part), this is pretty close...Until I started doing this post, I had never heard of toasting the cornmeal first.  Now that I am going to try.  See, we all keep learning from each other.  Its what I so love about all of this!

1-1/4 c cornmeal - I like to use a combination of white and yellow cornmeal.
1 c all-purpose flour (bread flour works especially well)
1/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1 T baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 large eggs
1-1/2 c buttermilk
3 T butter, melted
1/3 c vegetable oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees.   Mix dry ingredients together (cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).   Set aside.  In smaller bowl, beat eggs.  To the eggs add the buttermilk and mix, then add the melted butter (which has been slightly cooled).   Mix well.  Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well-combined.  Put oil in bottom of heavy well-seasoned cast-iron skillet and place in the heated oven for about 5-10 minutes, until the oil is smoking hot.   Once the pan is hot, remove and add batter to the hot pan.  Return to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until crispy brown on the sides and golden brown on the top.  Again, remove from the oven and serve warm with butter and/or a local honey!  Enjoy.


Tomorrow - Corn Chowder to go with that cornbread and some delicious apple recipes!