Wednesday, October 3, 2012

one hundred and four

Fall is my second favorite season of the year, mainly because I can use "warming up the house" as a reason to cook things on the stove all day.  (Never mind that I have to keep the windows open in order for that excuse to fly.)  Something about starting dinner in the early afternoon makes me feel like Susie Homemaker, which in turn influences me to do normally boring chores and/or look for ways to make the already awesome smelling dinner taste even better.  The former tends include deep cleaning something or other (cupboards, appliances, etc.), while the latter usually involves bread in some way or another.  Since dough can be lazy this time of year, I've found that this is the perfect time to embrace quick breads, like my absolute favorite...

Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread

 It seems that anyone and everyone who bakes (or eats!) cornbread has their own idea of what, exactly, cornbread is meant to be.  Some, like my mother in law, believe that it involves bits of fresh corn in a sweet, cake-like batter (I'm with her on that last part).  Others, like my grandmother, swear that a cast iron skillet must be involved, and that the bread is meant to be crumbly and almost sugar-free.  

Much to my family's chagrin, I'm in neither camp.  In fact, my own mother believes I should be banned from ever making cornbread!  Why?  Because the cornbread that I make is the sort that could almost be eaten for dessert.  Even if you're not usually a fan of sweet cornbread, I recommend you give this recipe a shot, if only because it's the moistest cornbread you'll ever have.

2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and sugar, then stir in the eggs one at a time.
Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, then mix in the buttermilk.  Stir in the cornmeal, then mix until everything is combined.  Allow the batter to rest in the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Grease a 9x13" pan.  Pour the rested batter into the pan and place in the middle of the oven.  Immediately reduce the heat to 350°, then bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the bread has browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

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