For the longest time I have been hunting for the perfect recipe for cornbread. I had tried quite a few and was never satisfied with the end product. To me, the perfect cornbread was one that was sweet, light and fluffy. I don’t like it to be dense or filled with chunks of real corn. I suppose I wanted a cornbread recipe not from a box that was almost like a fluffy delicious cake.
But no matter what recipe I tried, the result was either grainy or too dense. I still had one recipe as my go-to even though it didn’t produce the airy light product I wanted.
Then suddenly, about 2 weeks ago I decided to make the recipe with a sudden adjustment. After having taken a class on bread development and gluten and the perfect bread crumb, I felt there was something instinctual. This time it would be perfect.
Want to know what the secret ingredient was?
The secret to life is always butter.
Just a single ounce more of butter made all the difference. Who knew?
The reason I believe is that the layers of the fat from the butter better coat the proteins in the flour. When the cornbread mix is baked, the fat melts and air is released to fluff it up.
I also discovered how just one tablespoon more of sugar to this recipe makes for a very crunchy crust. The sugar caramelizes on the crust and adds a nice crisp. I prefer it without that crunch but my mother prefers it with.
So I urge everyone to try this recipe and let me know how it goes.
To have the perfect cornbread, I baked it in my trusty cast iron skillet.
Ivy’s Prefect Cornbread @ 400 F
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 oz (6 tblspn) butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1- In a large bowl, place all dry ingredients and whisk together until it looks evenly distributed. Leave a small well in center.
2- Slice butter and place in skillet. Place over med-low heat and allow to melt. Swirl bitter around in the skillet to cost the surface and sides.
3- Pour milk, eggs and butter into the well of the dry ingredients.
4- Whisk together, starting in small circles in center and making larger circles until incorporated. Once fully blended, mixture will look thick and butter will have been absorbed.
5- Pour mixture into skillet and bake immediately at 400 F for 20-25min or until top is golden and middle springs back to touch.
6- Scrape edges with a spatula, working it under the cornbread to loosen it from the pan after 5min. Turn out on to a plate or serve straight from skillet. Best when eaten nice and warm!