Few breads are as versatile as cornbread; it should probably be on any list of kitchen essentials. I made my first batch ever to accompany a stew that I made; of course, buttered and toasted for breakfast the next day it was equally as good. Somehow, I’ve never been tempted to have leftover cornbread the way my father liked it – crumbled in a glass with buttermilk poured over it. Maybe in my next life.
This particular recipe came from Betty Crocker, who, I think, is the person who started Americans cooking at home. And yes, I have my mother’s original Betty Crocker Cookbook.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups cornmeal (yellow, white, or blue)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (after your first batch, you may want to adjust this if it’s too sweet for your taste)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Heat your oven to 400 degrees (and do it far enough in advance that your oven is good and hot when you put the cornbread in)
Spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan, or 9-inch round pan, with cooking spray.
In a 1-qt saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted.
In a large bowl, beat the melted butter, milk, and egg with a fork or whisk until well mixed. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt all at once. Stir until the flour is moistened (your batter will be lumpy).
Pour the batter into the pan, using a rubber to silicone spatula to get it all out of the bowl (is this a Betty Crocker tip, or what?).
Spread the batter evenly in the pan; smooth the top.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Best served warm.