We could never agree on cornbread in my family when I was growing up. My mother, having been raised in the English manner, favored what some call "Northern" cornbread--higher, fluffier, sweeter. My father, having been raised in the Southern manner, favored "Southern" cornbread--flatter, no fluff, no sugar. Of course, many Southerners would say that's okay, as far as it goes, but that it's not really Southern unless there's some bacon grease involved.
When I'm missing my father (I always called him "Daddy," in the Southern manner), I'm inclined to cook up something he liked. Today, that's beans and cornbread. Now, mind, he was a real meat and potatoes (and a couple of vegetables) man; but there were days when he liked nothing more than a bowl of beans and a pan of cornbread. I'll tell you about the beans another day, but here's the cornbread. Two ways. Baked in an 8-inch square Pyrex baking dish AND in my new Belgian waffle maker!
Sometimes Daddy would eat leftover cornbread crumbled in a bowl and topped with milk. And milk? He would call milk "sweet milk" when the Southern was coming out in him. Apparently that was to differentiate between milk and buttermilk or even clabbered milk (I don't have a clue about that one).
So, tell me, where do YOU stand on all these different cornbread/corn bread issues?
(Makes eight 2x4-inch servings or eight 4.5-inch waffle squares)
1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 packed cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
3 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup organic canola oil
(That's one or two eggs more than you usually see in a cornbread recipe. Goes back to my vegetarian days when I was trying to squeeze in more protein anywhere I could. You could probably just use 2 eggs and increase the milk and buttermilk to 3/4 cup each.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Oil (or, if you want to get really Southern, bacon grease) an 8x8x2-inch pan (I use a Pyrex baking dish). In medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and beat just until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 425 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. If you like your cornbread flatter, just use a slightly larger pan and bake for a shorter time.
One recipe makes two large square waffles in my Cuisinart WAF-100 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker, 2 cups of batter per waffle. Then I cut each 4.5-inch square in half diagonally and have 16 triangles.