1.28.2012

Cornbread

During my senior year of college, between full time classes with more homework than I’d ever had before, a part time job at the grocery store, and an internship with the local police department 3 times a week, I barely had any free time. What time I did find, I lacked all motivation to slave it away in the kitchen. So I rarely cooked. My big meal was baked chicken. Over and over again. But when I didn’t have the time, I’d just throw a box of Jiffy cornbread in the oven and call it a meal. Countless nights I sat at our little kitchen table, highlighter in one hand, reaching for a plate of cornbread with the other.


I wish I would have known about this cornbread years ago.

This? This is no Jiffy cornbread. This is the real thing—thick and dense, yet moist. This cornbread has substance. The cornmeal gives it just the slightest cruch and the honey gives it just a touch of sweet. And it’s incredibly easy to throw together. The first time I made it, I went from sitting on the couch reading my Everyday Food magazine to putting it in the oven in just 15 minutes. The 2nd time, it took me longer to find the magazine again than it did to actually make it! So skip the Jiffy and make your own. It’s the perfect side for a bowl of chili in the cold months.


Warm and fluffy, slathered with a heaping scoop of sweet jam or honey and butter— there’s something completely comforting about a big pan of cornbread.





Cornbread
Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine October 2011
Makes 16 slices



1 ½ cups yellow or white cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 9x9 inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, buttermilk, eggs, and honey.
4. Add buttermilk mixture to cornmeal mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until combined.
5. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish and smooth top. Bake until top is lightly golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes*. Let pan cool on a wire rack about 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

*Note: Both times I've made this cornbread I had to bake it longer than the instructed time. Checking it at 20 minutes, the top was starting to brown, but the center was completely raw still. At 25 minutes, the top was a beautiful golden color, but the center was still undercooked and jiggly. To keep it from browning more, I covered it with foil and baked it for another 3 minutes.
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