Ready for a recipe that has been passed down for generations? This recipe was so engrained into the souls of this family’s kitchen and matriarchs that, despite an over-stuffed, over-noted recipe book that is essentially sacred text to this family. But this cornbread was written into their very DNA – and it never fails.
Now, you can make it for yourself.
Cornbread makes for one of the most ideal blank slate loafs when it comes to embracingly absorbing different seasonings and ingredient additions, which means anyone making it should feel encouraged to experiment a here and there to keep the recipe exciting. But according to this old family recipe, there are 3 rules that everyone needs to abide by every time, without fail:
1. Preheat the cast iron skillet in the oven to ensure that it is as hot as it can get. If the batter doesn’t sizzle when it gets poured in, you’re doing it wrong.
2. Right before you pour anything in, salt the skillet. A little pinch thrown onto the bottom of this sizzling pan gives the soon-to-be deliciously crispy crust into a heavenly crunch in its own right – forget the rest of the loaf.
3. This sounds weird, but it’s a must: when you pull that cornrbread out of the skillet, turn it over immediately onto a rack and let it cool bottom side up. You’re probably raising an eyebrow, and that’s okay. But this will protect that crust crunch that makes this recipe so flawless, rather than letting the bread steam and cause the bottom to soften.
So turn this cornbread into whatever you want it to be – just make sure you don’t break the trifecta of rules, and we promise you’ll be happy.
* 2 tablespoons peanut oil
* 2 cups yellow stone-ground cornmeal
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 cups well-stirred whole buttermilk
* 2 large eggs,
* lightly beaten
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Add peanut oil to a cast-iron skillet; we recommend 10-inch, but cornbread works in most shapes and sizes that can hold this volume. Place skillet in oven, and then preheat to 450°F (yes, the skillet stays in during the pre-heating!)
During preheating, take out a medium bowl and whisk in the cornmeal, flour, sugar, 21/2 teaspoons salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then stir in buttermilk until smooth; then the eggs; then the melted butter.
Step 3 (Be careful, it’s hot!)
Carefully remove your skillet from the oven. Then, transfer the hot skillet oil into the cornbread batter and stir it in. Quickly toss the 1/4 teaspoon of leftover salt into the skillet and pour the batter in on top. Return the skillet to the oven without stirring.
Without adjusting the temperature, bake for 22 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Immediately invert cornbread onto a wire rack and let cool completely.