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Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe

Use corn bread to stuff your holiday bird, bake in a casserole for a savory dressing, or use it to sop up every last bit of your favorite stew or chili. This basic recipe can do it all! See the Cook’s Notes below for information on using for stuffing or dressing*.

*Since the bread used in dressing should be on the dry side, you can bake it up to two days ahead of time. Often, I bake the bread for my holiday meal several days ahead. If the recipe requires that the bread be cubed, I go ahead and cube the cooled bread, bag it up in a freezer bag, and then pop it into the freezer. Several hours before assembling my dressing, I remove the cubed bread from the freezer and pour the contents of the baggie on a large sheet pan to thaw. Once thawed, I assemble the dressing according to my recipe.

Makes 1 13X9X2-inch pan of corn bread

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour**
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
Butter for greasing baking pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a metal 13X9X2 inch baking pan liberally with butter.

In a small mixing bowl (or the pan used for melting the butter), whisk together the hot melted butter and the buttermilk. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir in the buttermilk mixture. Transfer to the buttered baking pan.

Bake cornbread until the edges are lightly browned and tester*** comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan.


Cook’s Notes

*Since the bread used in dressing should be on the dry side, you can bake it up to two days ahead of time. Often, I bake the bread for my holiday meal several days ahead. If the recipe requires that the bread be cubed, I go ahead and cube the cooled bread, bag it up in a freezer bag, and then pop it into the freezer. Several hours before assembling my dressing, I remove the cubed bread from the freezer and pour the contents of the baggie on a large sheet pan to thaw. Once thawed, I assemble the dressing according to my recipe.

**I use unbleached all purpose flour from King Arthur Flour almost exclusively. It is now available at most large supermarkets. I find that it is superior in taste and freshness. I also like that the company is employee owned and has been around for over 200 years!

***As far as ‘cake’ testers go, although I have actually spent money on one of these, I still find that I reach for a flat wooden toothpick almost every time. I knew of a baker that had a straw whisk broom that she would pluck a straw from and use that for testing doneness. Of course you would want to dedicate the broom for this purpose only!

To use your tester of choice, simply insert in the center of bread and quickly remove. If there is no uncooked batter clinging to the sides of the tester, then the bread is cooked. I also use the ‘touch’ test; lightly touch the surface of the bread with your finger – it should spring back. Lastly, I do a ‘visual’ test; the edges of the bread should slightly pull away from the pan.

Variations

This recipe makes great cornbread to use in stuffing and dressing, as a topping for stew or Tamale Pie or to enjoy in its truest form; topped with a slather of butter and honey!

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