cornbread has been mocking me recently. no, seriously. i tried to make some corn muffins last weekend, which were a resounding flop. note to self: do not attempt to bake with soy milk ever again. ever. thus shamed, i turned to uncle alton. he has let me down before in the cornbread department, though. apparently, ab likes his cornbread straight up, no sugar. hurriedly preparing for a tailgate one saturday, i pounded out the recipe and was disappointed to bite into a dry, not-sweet-at-all, corn-flavored brick. ugh. not to be daunted, i armed myself with 1/2 cup sugar and i tried again.
ab's recipe with my tweak goes a little something like this: turn on your oven to 450 and stick in your cast iron skillet. mix 1 1/2 cups cornmeal with 1 1/4 cups milk and let rest for about 15 minutes to let the cornmeal soak up the milk. in another bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar [my addition, with humble apologies to ab], 1 tablespoon of baking powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. after the cornmeal is good and soaked, beat in 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 2 large eggs then stir in the flour mixture. take out your piping hot skillet, throw in 1 tablespoon of butter and swirl around to coat. immediately pour the batter in the skillet and stick back in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top is nice and browned and a toothpick comes out clean. when it comes out, invert the cornbread onto a plate, then back onto a cutting board and cut into slices.
not too bad. a little grainy, a little dry. but you know you're eating cornbread. next time, i think i'll use a little less cornmeal and a little more flour.