Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread

buttermilk cornbread recipeWe love cornbread—all kinds of cornbread. You’ll find a number of recipes on the website that you will want to explore. The following recipe calls for cornmeal soaked overnight in buttermilk, a trick that we learned from Peter Reinhart in his great book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. This is Yankee cornbread, sweetened with honey and brown sugar. We think you will love it.

We classify cornbreads as two types: Rich cornbreads made without flour that use eggs to bind the bread and temper the cornmeal and more bread-like cornbreads with a high flour content. Most of the latter cornbreads have about equal amounts of cornmeal and flour. This recipe belongs in that group. What makes this skillet cornbread recipe different is the overnight soaking of cornmeal to plump the grains of corn.

We invite you to try different grinds of cornmeal in this recipe. We like it with a coarser grind. If you can find some cornmeal with the germ in it, by all means try that.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder

3 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 16-ounce whole kernel corn, drained

Directions

1. The night before, mix the cornmeal and buttermilk together in a medium bowl. Let it sit overnight at room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together.
3. In a third bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the sugar. Stir until combined and syrupy. Add the honey, melted butter, and corn and mix well.
4. Add the wet mixture to the cornmeal and buttermilk mixture. Add the dry ingredients one-third at a time and mix until moistened. The batter should be pourable like a cake batter. Because different grinds of cornmeal absorb moisture differently and because the drained corn may carry different moisture levels, you may need to adjust the batter slightly with additional milk or flour.
5. On the stovetop, melt two tablespoons of vegetable shortening in an oven-proof 11 to 12-inch skillet until very hot. Pour the batter into the pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the top is browned and firm and springy. (This is a moist cornbread and needs to be well-cooked.) Cool in the pan.