There is lots of controversy surrounding cornbread. There's the question of sugar or no sugar. Milk or buttermilk. Flour or no flour. Yellow or white cornmeal.
We could never agree on cornbread in my family when I was growing up. My mother, having been raised in the English manner, favored what some call "Northern" cornbread—higher, fluffier, sweeter. My father, having been raised in the Southern manner, favored "Southern" cornbread—flatter, no fluff, no sugar. Of course, many Southerners would say that's okay, as far as it goes, but that it's not really Southern unless there's some bacon grease involved.
My recipe is something of a compromise, but leaning a bit more to the South. And you can make it two ways—baked in an 8-inch square baking dish or in a Belgian waffle maker! The waffle cornbread has the flatness and crunch so many Southerners love, and one could even brush the waffle maker with a bit of strained bacon grease for added authenticity.
Makes eight 2x4-inch servings or eight 4.5-inch waffle squares
1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 packed cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
3 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup organic canola oil
That's one or two eggs more than you usually see in a cornbread recipe. Goes back to my vegetarian days when I was trying to squeeze in more protein anywhere I could. You could probably just use 2 eggs and increase the milk and buttermilk to 3/4 cup each.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Oil (or, if you want to get really Southern, bacon grease) an 8x8x2-inch pan or baking dish.
- In medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and beat just until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake at 425 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. If you like your cornbread flatter, just use a slightly larger pan and bake for a shorter time.
One recipe makes two large square waffles in the Cuisinart WAF-100 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker, 2 cups of batter per waffle. Then cut each 4.5-inch square in half diagonally to make 16 triangles.
- Serve hot with plenty of unsalted butter.