1/2 cup unsalted butter melted (or bacon drippings)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal (or polenta)
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder (optional: yields a fluffier cornbread)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk shake before measuring
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 200C | 400F and position a rack in the middle. Lightly grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch square baking dish with butter and place skillet/dish into the oven to heat up. (Alternatively for cast iron skillets: heat 1/2 cup of unmelted butter in your cast iron over stove top on medium heat until melted, turn heat off then allow the butter to cool slightly before adding to the batter.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder (If using), baking soda and salt.
Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk and eggs. Mix together well to combine, then add in the slightly cooled melted butter. Mix again until ‘just’ combined (don’t over mix).
Carefully remove your ‘hot’ pan or dish from the oven with oven mitts, and pour the batter into the hot skillet or dish. Listen to that sizzle! That’s what you want.
Bake until the cornbread begins to brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (about 20-23 minutes). Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own! Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar (or fresh squeezed lemon juice) to 1 cup of room temperature milk (full cream, 2% or skim can be use). Mix together and let sit for 5 minutes. Done! Prepare your ‘buttermilk’ as step one of this recipe to ensure it has soured enough before adding to your mixture.