These ignorant Northwesterners keep ruining cornbread by putting sugar in the recipe! That’s like an Italian chef watching you cook a pound of pasta in a quart of water! It’s just wrong, so stop it.
And it’s hard to get good cornmeal up here — it’s just too cold to grow corn. I suggest that you order 10 pounds of yellow cornmeal every year from the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, TN. Put it in a well-sealed container and store it in the freezer — and be blessed. http://www.old-mill.com/
My favorite preparation of cornbread is in the form of little corn cobs. This pan will last 3 lifetimes — if it never rusts.
1.5 C cornmeal
0.5 C flour
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1.5 C buttermilk
2 T shortening, melted
0.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Use one measuring cup throughout the process, being a 1/2 Cup measurer. Mix the dry ingredients above the dashed line. Make a hollow place, add eggs and beat the eggs into the mix. Add buttermilk and mix in well. Let sit for five minutes to hydrate the meal. Needs to be almost runny like cake batter, add a dab more milk as needed.
Get your dry iron skillet hot over medium low heat — about 40% of the stovetop’s heat range.
Add shortening and leavening agents to mixture. Mix well. Have butter on hand while cooking.
Pour 1 Tbs. oil onto skillet and follow with a half cup of mixture immediately. It will spread out in a circle about 7″ in diameter and start to crisp on the edges. When it starts to bubble on top, count 1.5 minutes and loosen edges with spatula to flip. This first bread is often wasted — finish cooking it and allow its heat to keep the following pieces warm. If darker than golden brown, reduce heat so cooks more slowly. Cook all the rest.
As each one is being finished, place a pat of butter on top, flip again and melt all over by swishing around in skillet.
Alternatively, use a cupcake muffin mold for small pieces of cornbread. In a hot oven (400), heat the muffin pan. Add 1 tsp olive oil or shortening and let that heat. Pull out pan and quickly load with cornbread mixture and return to heat until golden brown – should be hot enough to bubble immediately. With the corncob stick cast iron form, get it to 400 degrees in the oven, add shortening to melt and then add the mixture — not too much.
Because there is no sweetness in the recipe, it goes great with chili and other highly-spiced entrees. If you like it sweet, serve warm on a heated bread plate with butter, honey, or molasses.
It is less time-consuming to just pour the mixture in a cake pan and let it bake. That is not considered Southern hospitality at a proper table where guests are appreciated.