There’s a reason that people in the south swear by their cast-iron skillets. They’re so versatile, you can make almost anything in them. One of the most common recipes made in cast-iron skillets is cornbread. You might think of cornbread when you think of chili, because they’re commonly served together, but in the south, we eat cornbread with all kinds of meals. It’s delicious, but mildly flavored enough not to compete with the main dish. Cornbread is also an easy recipe to make in a cast-iron skillet, so if you have a cast-iron skillet you haven’t used and aren’t sure how to use, this is a good way for you to become comfortable with it. One of the great things about using a cast-iron skillet is that it can go from stovetop to oven without any problem. Although you don’t need to do that for cornbread, it makes making things like baked pastas and smothered chicken easy and fast. Plus, when you use one pan for both the stovetop and the oven part of the recipe, there are less dishes to wash after dinner. It’s a win-win.
Here’s a basic but delicious skillet cornbread recipe, easy enough for beginners to use.
1 1/4 cup of ground cornmeal
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/3 cup of whole milk
1 cup of buttermilk
8 tablespoons of melted butter
Here’s how to make the cornbread.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and place your cast-iron skillet in the oven to get warm. This recipe is designed for a 9 inch skillet.
Using a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
Whisk in the wet ingredients, including seven tablespoons of the butter. Save one of the tablespoons of the butter, because you’ll need it to grease the skillet.
If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand and don’t want to buy some just for this recipe, you can make your own buttermilk. Just put a tablespoon of something acidic, either plain vinegar or lemon juice, in the measuring cup and then fill to the one cup measurement line with the milk. Do this when you preheat the oven to give your milk time to become buttermilk.
Once the batter is mixed, take the skillet out of the oven.
Turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees.
Use that last tablespoon of butter to grease your skillet. Be incredibly careful because that skillet is 400 degrees at this point.
Pour the batter into the skillet and put it back in the oven.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.
Serve warm with butter or honey, or just plain.