With gray skies outside and only a few days of sunshine peeking through every so often, it’s been a couple of weeks for stews, soups, and chili. Since everyone seems to have their favorite winning chili cook-off recipe, I’m starting out with cornbread, since for me, chili without cornbread is like a hamburger without a bun, apple pie without vanilla ice cream, cereal without milk; it just won’t do.
I’ve tried a variety of cornbread recipes ranging from the one on the cornmeal package to the recipes from several books, and it’s one of the simplest breads to make. There are no critical times for resting dough, babying yeast, and too-early opening of the oven door, and therefore, perfect for me. Cornbread’s straightforward ingredients and process make it generally foolproof. Its simplicity has provided the perfect jumping off point for experimentation, especially when I’m missing an ingredient or two. One day I ran out of all purpose flour and substituted some whole wheat flour and a little more corn meal. No problem! It tasted great, and we enjoyed more rustic-looking bread, as the color was earthier, instead of the usual bright yellow.
Another time I ran out of sugar, and I used honey instead to another successful result, of course, with the distinctive flavor of honey. I’ve been curious to make it with fresh corn kernels, but haven’t since Jan has voted against it—that may go over OK at Sweet Tomatoes, but he wants his cornbread smooth.
My current recipe is a result of several experiments, with the understanding that there will be more experimentation in the future, depending on what my pantry may be missing that day.
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Grease a 8”x8” pan with butter.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the wet ingredients, then add to dry ingredients.
- Bake 25 minutes until golden.