From Dish Jess:
Well, dishes, the holiday season is here whether we like it or not. Personally, I love holiday food and drink, but can sometimes be a scrooge when it comes to bringing in the warm fuzzy cheer (that’s what eggnog is for). Still, the goodness of holiday eats cannot be denied, so I thought I’d share a new favorite that I’ve been perfecting.
I researched cornbread recipes, both traditional and cutting-edge(ish) to formulate this one. I found that true southern cornbread shouldn’t have added sweetness, and that you can substitute yogurt for buttermilk. Also, that truly authentic crumbly cornbread crust is attained only by baking in an iron skillet which I, sadly, do not possess.
So here’s my not-quite-authentic version – a crusty whole wheat cornbread. One could also substitute white flour here with great results. Makes 6-8 servings.
For the cornbread:
1 ½ cups medium-grind corn meal
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ c milk
½ c yogurt
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp melted honey
1 tbsp oil (I used olive)
Pour olive oil into skillet or baking pan and set aside.
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, beat egg and add the rest of the wet ingredients, whisking together. Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry bowl, adding a teaspoon or two of milk if the mixture is too dry. Whisk to combine. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375-400°F – depending on whether your oven is hotter or cooler. Place the skillet or baking pan into the oven and let the oil heat while the batter is resting.
In the meantime, make your honey butter:
4 tbsp room temperature butter
1 tbsp honey
Beat honey into the butter with a fork. If the butter is a little cold or the honey is crystallized, warm the honey slightly. I don’t like super-sweetened spreads, but you can feel free to adjust the ratio to your tastebuds.
When it’s time to pour the batter into the pan, carefully spread it into the hot pan, smoothing the top so that the batter evenly fills the space. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sides begin to darken and a toothpick comes out dry.
Feel free to experiment with mix-ins; for this go-around, I had recently made a plain batch, so I added some chopped scallion, jalapeño and grated cheddar. Bacon would be a great addition, or cilantro, or creamed butternut squash. I haven’t made muffins yet but would welcome any baking tips for a muffin tin.
Let the bread cool and cut into squares. Spread the honey butter lavishly onto a still-warm piece… but don’t blame me if the one becomes two or three – or an entire meal!
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