Moist Buttermilk Cornbread

Cornbread1

A close-up of that moist, tender crumb.

I recently had to admit to myself that I had a cornbread problem. That problem was a lack of delicious, moist, yummy-nummy cornbread. I was using Jiffy mixes and numbing myself to other possibilities.

Well, step 1 of my 12 step cornbread problem was complete.

At some point I’ll apologize to all my baking implements for making them interact with substandard cornbread mixes.

Jiffy is a fine boxed cornbread mix. If you’re in a pinch, do the Jiffy thing with a full heart and dew-bright eyes. But it isn’t anywhere close to cornbread made from scratch, which I have, finally, for the first time ever, wie noch nie zuvor, made.

This recipe is amazing. It is based on melted butter and uses buttermilk as its moistening liquid. The texture of the finished cornbread is both moist and meaty, with a crumb that manages to be both delicate and coarse – just as cornbread should be.

Cornbread3

The top of this cornbread is a perfect golden-brown, and smooth. You can see the anatomy of the texture from the cornbread’s top: the individual pieces of cornmeal, namely.

I cut the sugar called for in the original recipe, from 2/3 cup to a generous 1/4 cup. I found that to yield the perfect classic cornbread flavour – the same flavour that Jiffy whips up time and again. I also added 1/8 cup buttermilk to the recipe, which I am convinced helped achieve the moist texture in the baked cornbread. I was pleased with both of these things.

I am still pleased.

From-scratch cornbread, I have found thee. Thou art versatile, able to accommodate grated cheese, vegetables, and careworn weeping. Thou stayest moist and tender across three days of airtight, room temperature storage. Thou art divine.

Cornbread4

An old maid? Please! I’m snatching this baby right off the saucer (er, shelf) and making her my lady. For life.

Moist Buttermilk Cornbread

Ingredients:
1 stick butter (either unsalted or salted is fine; I used unsalted)
generous 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 generous cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup all purpose flour

Method:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 8×8″ pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Melt butter. Transfer melted butter to medium bowl. Whisk in sugar until thoroughly blended. Whisk in eggs, working quickly so that they do not start to cook, until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and baking soda. Add to butter/egg mixture and whisk to blend completely.

Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over surface of mixture; do not whisk yet. Sprinkle salt evenly atop surface; do not whisk yet. Sprinkle flour atop surface. Whisk to combine all ingredients, whisking just until a few lumps remain.

Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Cool somewhat before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes.com

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