How to Make Homemade Cornbread

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Start to Finish: 50 minutes

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Beginner

Buttery, rich and with a crisp crust and edges, homemade cornbread can be hard to beat. Making it at home means your cornbread can be as fresh as possible -- an important point to consider, as cornbread goes stale quite easily. This recipe for moist, sweet, cornbread is adapted from serious eats and Betty Crocker.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cups brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 whole eggs, beaten

  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

  • 2/3 cup sour cream

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2/3 cup frozen corn

Directions

Heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat on the stove.

Add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat until the oil is shimmering. Turn off the heat and place the skillet on a center rack in the oven.

Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium-sized bowl, stirring thoroughly.

Whisk the sour cream, buttermilk, eggs and melted butter in a medium-sized bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to incorporate them fully.

Tip

  • Brown the butter in the cast iron pan before adding it to the wet ingredients to give your cornbread a slightly nutty flavor.

Add the frozen corn and stir gently to mix it in. There should be no lumps.

Remove the pan from the oven and swirl the oil around it, coating the bottom and sides. Pour the batter into the pan, and return it to the oven.

Bake the cornbread for 15 minutes, then test it for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick is clean, with no dough clinging to it when removed, the cornbread is done.

Tip

  • As the cornbread bakes, it will turn brown on the top and may begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. The center may also crack slightly. This is fine, but to avoid overcooking, test for doneness at the 15-minute mark, and then again every three minutes if it is not done at 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve the cornbread immediately.

The bread can also rest, at room temperature, covered in tin foil, for up to 10 hours. Reheat in the oven until the cornbread is just warmed through before serving it.

Variations

While yellow cornmeal is what is traditionally used to make cornbread, white and blue cornmeal can also be used. Keep the quantities the same when changing corn flour. White cornmeal has a milder flavor than yellow cornmeal, while blue cornmeal is the sweetest and nuttiest of the three flours.

Replace the brown sugar with honey and the vegetable oil with melted butter for an even more decadent and rich cornbread.

Replace the frozen corn with other vegetables or ingredients to give your cornbread a special twist. Cook your vegetables or meats before adding them to minimize the amount of moisture they exude during baking.

Common additions include:

  • Cooked, chopped bacon;

  • Shredded cheddar cheese;

  • A blend of herbs and spices, such as dried oregano, garlic powder and red chili flakes;
  • Minced fresh or canned jalapeños; or

  • Chopped onion and sweet red pepper.

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