Skillet-Sizzled Cornbread

Contributed By: Susan Barnes


1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup plain yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup water)
1 large egg
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil, such as corn, canola, or peanut
2 to 4 tablespoons butter


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Make sure your oven's accurate, too; it really needs to be up to temperature to get perfect results.
2. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar. (If baking powder or soda appear at all lumpy, sift them
in). Stir well to combine.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and oil.
4. Spray a 9 to 10 ? -inch cast iron skillet with Pam (our skillets are 10 1/4 inch; this size is called a Number 7). Put the skillet on over medium
heat, add the butter, and heat until the butter melts and is sizzling seriously.
Tilt the pan to coat the sides of the skillet.
5. As the butter's melting, quickly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and, using a wooden spoon, stir the wet and dry together with as few strokes
as possible only as many as are needed to combine the two. Don't beat it; don't smooth it out. Scrape the batter into the hot, buttery skillet
if you've gotten it hot enough it will sizzle as it goes in and pop it in the
oven immediately.
6. Bake until golden brown on top, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve, hot, cut in wedges.

Helpful Hints:

as many of you know, CD, with her late-husband Ned, owned and ran an award-winning country inn and restaurant from 1981 to 1998. This inn was Dairy Hollow
House, located in the Ozark Mountain resort community of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Though the inn is no more, its memory, acclaim, and recipes, such as
this one, endure.
Makes 1 skillet, or 8 large wedges
It's impossible to go wrong with this, the cornbread we served at the inn and the single most requested recipe. It was used in the inn's very first Moos Letter, and has been featured in many, many magazines and newspapers.
Crescent has prepared it frequently on television, and loves to
teach it (most recently at the Biltmore Estate Cooking Program
). There, we used an excellent local white cornmeal, stone-ground of course, from Morgan Mills, in Brevard, North Carolina. Yellow cornmeal was usually
used here in the Ozarks. In the Deep South, and to the East, white cornmeal was more frequently the choice. Of course, whichever one you first encountered
is the right one. If the amount of butter melted in the bottom of the skillet is truly unconscionable, you can cut it back
to a tablespoon, and it'll still be very good.

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