Is there anything my cast iron skillet can't do? Whether it's steaks, peppers, or even pizza, the big hunk of metal is good for most of my high heat needs. But for bread? I'd never really done that before. Neither, for that matter, had I ever really wanted to make cornbread before.
I have no real love of this southern staple. I don't really have any fond memories of it as a child. I'm certainly not repulsed by it; It's just not something I'm begging to make all the time.
But there it was in Alton Brown's I'm Just Here For More Food, which I found at some discounted bookstore for $5 and all it required was basic ingredients I already had and my favorite kitchen instrument, the cast iron skillet. So I figured it was time.
Alton has a mad mind, and everything is divided into stages which makes this sound much harder than it should. It helps for organization, but it can make even cornbread seem academic. Luckily the stages don't take long, and they help you see how everything works together.
How was it? I don't know. It tasted like corn bread. It certainly wasn't the moistest, juiciest corn bread of my life, but I'm not sure what would be. It was easy. And I'll probably make it again considering the total prep time took about 10 minutes, and I had freshly made bread for the rest of the week.
Anyone who has a better recipe, I'd love to hear it.
Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
Adapted from Alton Brown.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place the iron skillet in. Combine the cornmeal and milk and let sit for 15 minutes.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. In another one, mix the eggs and vegetable oil.
Pour the egg and vegetable oil mixture into the cornmeal and milk. Mix until combined.
Finally, combine the wet ingredients (cornmeal, milk, vegetable oil, eggs) with the dry (flour, baking powder, salt).
Remove the heated skillet carefully from the oven. Lube the inside with about a tablespoon of butter, and then pour the mixture in side.
Stick the skillet in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove, and placing a plate on top, flip the cornbread gracefully onto the plate. If your skillet is as heavy as mine, that is easier said than done. Cut up and slather with butter. The more the better.