My husband is a cornbread connoisseur. For the 28 years of our marriage, he has eaten cornbread at home, at church dinners, and at restaurants. During those years, he has developed very strong opinions on what type of cornbread he does and doesn’t like. Generally, any cornbread that is made in a glass dish and cut into squares is not the right way. Any cornbread that is made with added ingredients like a Mexican cornbread is not the right way. He likes a cornbread that is a little sweet and has a crispy side and bottom to it.
It has taken me a lot of years, but I think I have finally found the secret. I recently bought a cast iron skillet. Shortly after buying that skillet, I found this recipe while watching an episode of Pioneer Woman on the Food Network. I don’t think the secret to his favorite cornbread has as much to do with the recipe as it does with the technique and pan. The only change that I made to the Pioneer Woman’s recipe was to add a little sugar. You can certainly leave this out if you wish.
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
Preheat the oven to 450 °F.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
Measure the buttermilk and milk into a measuring cup and add the egg.
Stir together with a fork.
Add the baking soda and stir.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork until combined.
In a small bowl, melt 1/4 cup shortening in the microwave.
Slowly add the melted shortening to the batter, stirring until just combined.
In a cast-iron skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening over medium heat.
Pour the batter into the hot skillet. (The batter should sizzle.)
Spread to even out the surface.
Cook on the stove top for 1 minute, and then transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
The edges should be crispy!