I made cornbread from scratch a few weeks ago for my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower. My mom didn’t believe it was homemade! Doesn’t she know the woman she raised?! David said it was good, but too sweet. He says all cornbread is too sweet except for the kind his grandmother used to make. I grew up eating Southern California cornbread… so I usually think it isn’t sweet enough! After making a few batches of my too-sweet or barely-sweet (depending on whom you ask) cornbread I decided to poke around the internet for Gramma’s Skillet Cornbread. David said his grandmother’s cornbread was not sweet at all, was more coarse than mine, and she served it in wedges.
I stumbled across a few recipes claiming to be truly southern cornbread recipes so I took elements from each and settled on the version you see here. A cardinal rule seems to be that it must be cooked in a cast iron skillet. Many recipes are made with only cornbread, but the small amount of flour I add helps give it some nice lightness. I use whole milk because that is what we always have on hand in our refrigerator, but you can use buttermilk if you prefer the flavor it lends. The 1 tablespoon of sugar can be left out if you are a cornbread purist. However, I feel it adds an additional layer of flavor without making the cornbread sweet.
Serve Gramma’s Skillet Cornbread hot, smeared with butter, and drizzled with honey! Then eat the leftovers the next day soaked in a bowl of milk… something I had never seen before I first ate cornbread with David. I guess it’s a southern thing. How do you take your cornbread?
- 210 grams (1 3/4 cups) cornmeal
- 32 grams (1/4 cup) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 110 grams (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) whole milk
- Preheat oven to 400F, and place your cast iron skillet in the oven while it preheats.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons of the cooled melted butter, egg, and milk.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter to the hot skillet and turn to coat.
- Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes.