I absolutely adore this cornbread. It's one of my go-to recipes when I want something delicious and home baked in a flash.
I tend to gravitate towards recipes that don't involve too much fuss. For special occasions, hell yeah, I'll whip out the big guns. But after work, or on my days off? I'm not looking to create more dishes than I absolutely have to.
Thankfully, this is just about the easiest bread recipe I have. The key is to mix it just enough to get everything combined - NO MORE! You only need two bowls and about five minutes, which is frankly my dream come true. If I could marry a recipe, it might be this one.
Holy Grail Corn Bread
- 225 g granulated sugar (just under 1 cup)
- 335 g AP flour (2.5 cups)
- 90 g corn meal (1/2 cup)
- 20 g baking powder (5 tsp.)
- hefty pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- 280 g whole milk (1 & 1/8 cup)
- 150 g vegetable oil (a scant 3/4 cup)
- Fresh corn, blueberries, hot peppers, cheddar, pepper jack, or any other add-ins you might like.
- Cream & butter for brushing
- PREHEAT your oven to 350 degrees (f).
- MEASURE all your dry ingredients in to a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Do the same with all your wet ingredients, in a smaller bowl; don't whisk them hard though, you're not trying to whip air in to the mixture.
- CREATE a well in the middle of your dry ingredients, and pour your wet ingredients in to the center of the bowl.
- MIX the dry and wet ingredients together with your hands or a whisk - hands are messier, but far more effective. You're trying to avoid over mixing (which creates more gluten) and in my experience it's very difficult to achieve this with a spoon or whisk. By using your hands, you can sort of "squeeze" the batter together, which eliminates dry spots without working the batter too much.
- FOLD any add-ins to the dough gently, reserving some to be sprinkled on top. I divided my batter in half and used an ear of uncooked corn in one mixture, and about a cup of blueberries in the other. Note that heavier things, like blueberries, will likely sink to the bottom of your batter while baking; if you want to avoid this, try tossing them in a little flour before adding in to the batter - or skip the folding and just sprinkle everything over the top of your batter.
- POUR the batter into greased pan(s). I've found that this batter bakes best when split between two 8x8 pans, or in muffin tins - usually I split the difference, using one 8x8 pan, and muffin tins for the rest. It's worth noting, however, that I like my cornbread soft and fluffy from crumb to crust. If you're looking for a crispier crust, use small loaf pans (just know that the thicker layer of batter means your baking time will be a bit longer). You can see the difference between the two in the photo below!
- BRUSH the top of your batter lightly with heavy cream (or whole milk, if that's all you have; this keeps the bread nice and moist). If you want a little extra sweetness, sprinkle some raw sugar on top.
- BAKE at 350 degrees (f), set a timer for ten minutes, then check. Unless you're baking the batter in muffin or mini-muffin pans, you'll probably need more than 10 minutes in the oven - set a timer and check every five minutes until the bread is finished. You'll know it's done when the batter no longer jiggles in the pan (this indicates there's still liquid batter that hasn't been cooked through) and the bread bounces back when pressed lightly with your index finger (if the indent remains, give it a few more minutes).
- BRUSH the top of the finished bread lightly with some melted butter, and let cool.