I couldn’t wait to try out Logan Turnpike Mill’s stoneground white cornmeal so I gave it a whirl in my standard cornbread recipe. I wanted to emphasize the flavor of the corn so I didn’t jazz it up as I often do. Fresh-cracked black pepper couldn’t even sneak its way into this batch.
This cornmeal tastes fresh and sweetly corny. Just right for sweetening with local honey (I use Goodflow wildflower from Central Market’s Bulk department) and enriching with very good butter. I love Lucky Layla from north Texas and Organic Valley’s Pasture butter (green package) is great, too. Whole Foods usually offers the best prices on these and if you still have a Whole Deal Organic Valley coupon (expires June 30) for $1 off one package of any of their butters you’ll score a great buy.
If you prefer a crunchier crust, preheat your pan–cast iron or cast aluminum can do the job–in your toaster oven at 425° while you assemble the ingredients. Grease the pan just before pouring your batter in or, if you’re using bacon grease or some other clarified fat you can just put it in the pan first thing . Use a 9″ to 10″ pan. Sometimes in our so-called winter (I shouldn’t deride our seasons. I love our climate!) I use the big oven and melt the butter inside it (in a separate pan) as the oven heats.
If you’re not going for a dark and crunchy exterior rub the inside of your pan right now with butter or bacon fat or the grease of your choice.
Frequently I enhance this basic recipe with black pepper and sometimes cheese, peppers, onion (especially green onions), corn kernels and even orange zest on occasion. Have fun!
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, melted; or 1 5/8 ounces melted bacon fat (about 3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon)
- 112 grams honey (1/3 cup)
- 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
- 2 eggs–you shouldn’t have any trouble getting local huevos at our farmers markets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 121 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour–white spelt is fine if you’re trying to use it up
- 4 1/8 ounces (3/4 cup) cornmeal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (I use Rumford aluminum-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Whisk together the honey, buttermilk, eggs and salt. Whisk together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. I always rub my baking powder and soda through a fine sieve to eliminate lumps. You don’t ever want to taste a nugget of baking soda. You’ll really wonder what the hell just got into your mouth if you do. Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients and barely combine them using a flexible spatula if you have one. You only want to unite these elements about halfway. Pour your butter over and continue to combine the ingredients just until a few very discernible streaks of flour and butter remain. Don’t overstir!
Pour batter into your prepared (greased) pan–hot or not. Bake for 15-20 minutes until good and brown. In the toaster oven you may need to rotate the pan at halftime to brown the crust evenly. Enjoy this treat hot!