Every time I plan to make cornbread, I think, "I'll take photos and put the recipe on my blog." And I never remember. That's because if I'm making cornbread I am mixing it up the last thing before dinner and I'm kind of in a rush because everything is coming ready at once and I need to set the table and people are in the kitchen talking to me and then it's dinnertime and then...the cornbread is all gone.
So. Here's the recipe without pictures. Maybe one day I'll remember and take some. Isn't it sad? It's such a simple thing to make too, you'd think I'd remember to grab the camera, wouldn't you? (One of my sons asked me how I made it last night, and I gave him my usual" "Well, about a cup of this, and some of that..." but really I do know the exact amounts, I just sort of play around the edges of them because I don't like measuring.)
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. (Yes, it's hot!)
Measure into a large mixing bowl:
1 cup self-rising flour (you can use regular flour too, just double the backing powder and salt below and use one cup of plain flour in place of the self-rising flour)
1 cup corn meal (yellow or white, doesn't matter which)
1 tablespoon baking powder (yes, even though the flour is self-rising, you need this because the corn meal also needs something to make it rise)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (you can leave this out if you prefer; I like a little sweetness in mine)
1 or 2 eggs, beaten (I never beat them first because I'm always in a hurry, but it's probably a good idea)
1 cup milk (or buttermilk or apple cider--all work well)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the egg and milk and mix in with a fork until all is just blended and all the dry ingredients are mixed in--about 50 strokes.
Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet (10-inch) or 9" square baking pan. Heat on top of the stove until the oil is hot. OR grease cornstick or muffin pans and heat the pans in the oven until the oil is hot. Pour the batter into the hot pans. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until the cornbread is lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
That's it! Easier than biscuits, even, and not nearly as messy to make. I bought a 5-pound bag of corn meal at Jackson's Mill where they grind it, and used it for the first time last night. The meal is coarser than what you get at the store, but much more flavorful and the cornbread was perfect. Which is why it was all gone before I could take any pictures. Again.
You can add to this recipe, of course. Try bacon and dill, for example. Some people add onions, others add peppers, and I bet there's a whole list of other things you can add. Seems like I read somewhere that someone added grated cheese? I like mine plain the best, though, with honey butter or apple butter for a topping. It's like eating dessert with your meal. If you make cornbread, do you add anything different to yours?
I have a 12" skillet I like to use when we have more people here, and then I add another 1/2 of the ingredients to the recipe, so the recipe is 1 1/2 times this one. Make sense?