If you want comfort food done right, look no further than my friend Breanne, who grew up in the South surrounded by generations of women known for their Southern charm and secret recipes. This is a family that so closely guards some of its recipes that daughters and granddaughters are shooed out of the kitchen when fried chicken is on the menu, lest anyone pick up on the ingredients or the method and pass it along.
Luckily, their cornbread recipe isn’t under lock and key, and it’s the best I’ve ever had. This recipe comes together in a pinch and requires a basic piece of kitchen equipment found in every Southern kitchen: a well-seasoned cast iron pan. Breanne’s cornbread complements everything from soup to chili to your morning coffee. Just be sure to have lots of butter on hand.
Gluten-Free Update: Make this gluten-free with my favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour mix from Jeanne Sauvage at The Art of Gluten-Free Baking.
1 cup all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
¾ cup enriched corn meal, plus a few tablespoons for the skillet
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
1 cup skim milk
¼ cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then fold in the milk, egg and a ¼ cup oil.
- Mix dry ingredients first, than add oil, milk, and egg.
- Prepare a 10” skillet by swirling 2 tablespoons oil in the blottom then sprinkling the skillet with about 1 tablespoon corn meal. Heat in the oven until hot and the corn meal begins to brown; don’t let it burn.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and add the batter. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Serve immediately with plenty of butter.
We never use sugar or flour. Use butter milk and add baking soda. And it’s better with yellow cornmeal. At least in south Georgia!