All Purpose Cornbread

from Bridget Lancaster, Julia Collin Davison

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Makes one 8-inch square

Before preparing the baking dish or any of the other ingredients, measure out the frozen corn kernels and let them stand at room temperature until thawed. When corn is in season, fresh cooked kernels can be substituted for the frozen corn. This recipe was developed with Quaker yellow cornmeal; a stone-ground whole-grain cornmeal will work but will yield a drier and less tender cornbread. We prefer a Pyrex glass baking dish because it yields a nice golden-brown crust, but a metal baking dish (nonstick or traditional) will also work. The cornbread is best served warm; leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

1½ cups (7½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (5½ ounces) yellow cornmeal (see note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl until combined; set aside.

2. In a food processor or blender, process the buttermilk, thawed corn kernels, and brown sugar until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the eggs and process until well combined (the corn lumps will remain), about 5 seconds longer.

3. Using a rubber spatula, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; pour the wet ingredients into the well. Begin folding the dry ingredients into the wet, giving the mixture only a few turns to barely combine; add the melted butter and continue folding until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish; smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes; invert the cornbread onto the wire rack, then turn right-side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer. Cut into pieces and serve.