Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Grandma Stella's Cornbread (traditional or sweet)

This recipe has been handed down from my Grandma Stella, a.k.a. Grammy, and is by far our family's favorite cornbread recipe. 
When going through the recipe with my mother, we found ourselves in hysterics over the confusion caused by having two copies of the recipe...each written just a bit differently. But after much deliberation (and a few tissues to take care of the tears of laughter), we worked out the kinks and were rewarded with golden corn goodness!

Very simple, just a few items needed for this wonderful cornbread. 

Okay, let's get stared by cracking 2 eggs and getting them into our mixing bowl. Then add 4 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and beat until well incorporated.

Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl...we need to make sure that the baking powder doesn't just hang-out along the sides of the bowl. 

Time to measure out our buttermilk. Pour 2 cups buttermilk into the egg mixture and blend. I like doing this 1/2 to 1 cup at a time, just so I don't end up wearing it. 

I can't stand to let anything go to waste, so of course this means that I scrape out all of the buttermilk. Hey, we need it!

In a small bowl we need to combine the 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. (I wanted to make a sweet cornbread this time around, so I added 1/2 cup of granulated sugar) And then just mix together with a fork. 

Now we're going to add the sugar mixture to our batter. Set the mixer speed on low and pour in our sugar mix. 
In a separate bowl, preferably a large one, pour 2 cups cornmeal and 3/4 cup all purpose flour. Mix cornmeal and flour together with a fork . 
Add in our cornmeal & flour mix to the batter. Blend in on low speed until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated. 
In a microwave safe cup, I use my Pyrex measuring cup, melt 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter. Cut the butter into slices or chunks before melting...it's just a smoother process. Heat for 15-20 seconds on High, depending on your microwave. 
The microwave is my friend...I hate waiting for butter to melt on the stove. (But if you prefer to use your stove, in a small sauce pan heat butter over Med-High heat just until melted) 
Add in melted butter. This is the last ingredient!!! 
Now all we have to do is make sure that everything is smooth & creamy! Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl again and have one last blend session.
Grab the skillet and let's get pouring! Oh this creamy batter just looks SO good. 

Alright, try to keep from dipping in and eating the batter...let's get this cornbread into the oven! Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the bread...if it comes out clean, then it's time to take it out.

Golden brown sides...oh, just hold back...don't cut in yet....give it at least 10 minutes. 
After holding back, go ahead and take a slice (preferably a big one) and enjoy! I like to enjoy it plain... 

or with a pat of butter... 
or with a pat of butter and drizzled with clover honey. I hope you enjoy this cornbread recipe as much as my family has!

Grandma Stella's Cornbread
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Large cast iron skillet rinsed and wiped dry.
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
DO NOT make alterations for high altitude.

2 Large Eggs (or 3 medium eggs)
4 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar (or for sweet cornbread, increase to 1/4 cup)
2 Cups Buttermilk
2 Cups Yellow Corn Meal
3/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Melted Butter or Shortening

In a large bowl beat eggs and baking powder until well incorporated. Pour in buttermilk and blend on low speed for just a few seconds.

In a small bowl combine baking soda, sea salt and sugar. Add to buttermilk mixture. Blend until incorporated.

In a large bowl combine cornmeal and sugar. Once combined, add to the batter and blend until well incorporated. Take time to scrape the sides of the bowl and blend again to ensure that everything gets well incorporated.

Place butter or shortening into a microwave safe container. Heat for 15-20 seconds on high, depending on microwave unit. Add melted butter or shortening to batter and blend. Scrape sides of bowl again and have one last blend session. The batter should be creamy.

Pour batter into a castiron skillet and place into preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick can be inserted into the middle and is clean when removed. Let skillet cool for a minimum of 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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