|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
If people get to talking about cornbread for long enough, the discussion will inevitably turn to the question of whether cornbread ought to be sweet or savory (which just means unsweetened). People who favor savory cornbread insist that it is the only way to make it. Likewise, those who prefer it sweet feel their version is correct.
If you are in the sweet camp, follow this recipe using sugar and honey. For a savory cornbread, leave these ingredients out. For something in between, use less of the sweeteners, or choose just one. If you eliminate the sugar, however, you'll end up with a slightly less tender cornbread, which might not bother you but is something to consider.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare a 9 x 9-inch baking dish or pan with cooking spray or butter and flour.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the half and half, eggs, melted butter, and honey and sugar if using.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix just until the flour is moistened, no more than 10 to 15 seconds. The batter should be visibly lumpy; do not overmix.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake the cornbread immediately.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edge of the bread starts to pull away from the pan.
Cool for about 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan. Let it cool for 5 more minutes on a rack, and serve as soon as possible.
Tips and Variations
This recipe will make a 9 × 9 cornbread. You can use a regular square baking dish, a nonstick baking pan, or a flexible silicone pan. For glass or ceramic dishes, you should grease and flour the dishes. If the pan is nonstick, you can coat with a quick spritz of cooking spray. The silicone baking pans don't need any greasing at all.
It is important that you don't mix the batter too long—you should be able to see lumps. If you overmix, you'll end up overworking the gluten in the batter and your cornbread will be too tough once baked.
Whether you choose to make this cornbread sweet or savory, there is always room for a few added ingredients in a basic cornbread recipe. If making an unsweetened version, toss in a bit of shredded cheddar cheese or fresh herbs. And corn is a great addition whether you make the bread with sweeteners or not.