Saturday, January 28, 2012

Classic Cornbread

My dad always used to make "johnnycake" for breakfast on Sunday mornings before church.  At least, we called it johnnycake--I can't attest to the historical accuracy of our terminology.  My dad's version was just cornbread, baked in a big cast iron skillet in the oven, then sprinkled with sugar and doused with milk.  Sometimes he used cinnamon and sugar to make a smiley face on top.  He was the only one who liked it with milk, though; my brothers and I would just eat the cornbread plain.  Cornbread for breakfast was johnnycake.

So maybe we were a little weird.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't serve my houseguests cornbread for breakfast.  But I still remember coming down in the morning to the smell of baking cornbread, and hoping to get the piece with the most cinnamon and sugar, and eating it upside down so the tender, buttery top could be saved for last.  And I still love cornbread--I just think it goes better with chili than with milk.

This recipe is pretty basic.  It's the one my dad always used; I think you can still find it on the back of the Martha White cornmeal bag.

Classic Cornbread
Time:  30 minutes

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup cornmeal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Grease an 8-inch square baking pan or a 10-inch round iron skillet (a round cake pan works too).  Whisk together first five ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, and oil.  Add to dry ingredients and stir to blend thoroughly.  Pour into pan and bake about 25 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I grew up on johnnycake, too. But like your dad, I ate it with milk. We also just used regular sugar and butter. The addition of cinnamon seems like the perfect upgrade. Hmmm, think I'll have to make a batch of cornbread for supper so I have leftovers in the morning.