Easy, Yummy Cornbread

I made turkey three-bean chili the other day and, as my trusty Crock Pot worked its magic, I wondered what I should serve it with. Naturally, the phrase “chili cheese nachos” was the first thing to go through my head, but I wanted something a little more substantial and less bar food-y. So I scoured the trusty Joy of Cooking for some ideas, and quickly settled on a good one: cornbread.

If you do a decent amount of baking, like me, you’ll probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry; this is not a recipe that requires much forethought. The prep is pretty quick, and my batch was done baking before I’d even finished cleaning up (I did have a slight cornmeal mishap).

The fun thing about this recipe is that it can yield either cornbread or corn muffins, so it’s just the perfect source of corny goodness. Potential add-ins include: jalapenos (1 or two fresh, peeled & minced), cheese (1 cup grated cheddar or Jack), or creamed corn (1 cup canned or homemade). Stir these in after the rest of the batter is done; definitely don’t let them near the dry mix before it becomes batter.

Corn Bread or Muffins

Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70°F. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Grease the pan with butter or oil. Place the pan in the oven.

Whisk together in a large bowl:

1 ¼ cups yellow or white cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 to 4 tablespoons sugar (if making muffins, lean toward the higher end for sugar)
¾ teaspoon salt

1 or 2 large eggs, beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1 cup milk

Combine with a few rapid strokes (you’ll be surprised how quickly the batter comes together). Pull pan from oven and scrape the batter into the hot pan. Make 15-18 minutes until lightly browned.

The bread (and likely the muffins as well) are amazing while still warm and with a little bit of butter. As bread, it can stand on its own or can be used as a base for chili, as mentioned above, or another soup or stew.

Image: Getty

2 replies on “Easy, Yummy Cornbread”

Is this taken straight from Joy or did you doctor it any? I’ve been looking for a good cornbread recipe since our daughter went vegetarian 3+ years ago, since all the best recipes use lard or (my favorite) bacon fat (the kind where you bake it in a cast iron skillet you just fried bacon in). Unfortunately, in my experience the loss of animal fat dries out the finished result. Everything has been too dry, even Joy’s recipe. And dry cornbread makes me very sad.

This is straight from Joy. The recipe did say that using two eggs instead of one would make it “richer” which may mean that would be more moist? I am not sure. And on its own it was a smidge dry, but with butter or with chili/soup you don’t really notice. I’m sorry I can’t be more help!

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