One does not live by soup alone. Cornbread is a natural to serve with soups. This is a light, cakey-type of cornbread with a great flavor and a tender crumb. And it’s easy. It has many variations, but most of all…it’s delicious! I found this recipe in an old recipe book a number of years ago. I changed some of the ingredients and messed with the proportions until I got to this version. Sadly, I never made note of the book’s title. I’ve been making this version for well over 25 years and it’s always a hit. It takes 5-10 minutes to stir up and 20 minutes to bake and its lusciousness can be consumed, hot, just out of the oven, dripping with butter. My mother always ate cornbread with a drizzle of maple syrup, even for dinner. You’ll have to find your own way on that one.
Sour Cream Cornbread
- 3/4 cup fine cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Butter and flour a 9-inch pan; set aside.
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine well; set aside.
In a separate large bowl, combine the remaining (wet) ingredients; whisk until well combined. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; using a spatula, stir just until combined—DO NOT OVER-MIX. Pour into the prepared pan; bake for about 20 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven; cut into squares. Serve immediately.
Sicilian Cornbread—Add 1/3 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed) and 1 tablespoon finely julienned fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil) to the dry ingredients. Continue with the recipe. Just before putting in the oven, sprinkle the top of the cornbread with 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake as directed.
Summer Morning Cornbread—Add 1 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries to the dry ingredients; toss to coat the berries. Continue as directed.
Mexican Cornbread—Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chile powder and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake (if you want it to be a bit spicy) to the dry ingredients. Add 1 can well-drained green chiles to the wet ingredients. Continue as directed, but you may wish to sprinkle the cornbread with some grated cheddar cheese just before baking.
Breakfast Cornbread—Add 1/2 cup fried, crumbled bacon, 1/4 cup finely sliced scallions, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules to the dry ingredients and continue with the recipe. Use bacon fat in place of the melted butter for even more bacon-y goodness.
Sour Cream Cornbread Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015. All rights reserved.
TIP: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, simply stir 2 teaspoons cider vinegar or lemon juice into regular milk, let stand for 10 minutes. It should thicken. There is a powdered buttermilk available, but I think this option works better. This is a decent substitute, but I don’t think the end product is quite as good as when made with buttermilk.
Make certain you start to preheat the oven first; then assemble you ingredients or you’ll have to wait for the oven to finish preheating…this goes together that quickly. There a couple of things to think about. This is a quick bread. I just dump the combined ingredients on top of the mixed wet ingredient. I use a fine cornmeal in this. The coarser type, for polenta will work, but you’ll also have a coarser cornbread. I have made this gluten-free using King Arthur’s gluten-free flour and it worked well.
It is imperative not to over-mix the batter or the end result will be a very un-Goddess-like tough and chewy cornbread and no one likes that.
I used a skillet to bake in this time, but a 9-inch pan works great. You may also use a well-greased cornstick pan or muffin tin. (I took this photo in different light, so it appears more yellow, but it’s the same batter.)
You bake this in a reasonably hot oven for 20 minutes, which will give you time to get the rest of the meal together, because you want to eat this hot, out of the oven with butter and for breakfast, drizzled with (or swimming in) maple syrup!
Do consider using the variations to match the rest of your meal. Leftovers reheat reasonably well in the microwave (on 50% power in mine), but in my experience, leftovers are a rarity.