American colonists first incorporated New World cornmeal into their Old World breads. Try the variations separately, or put them all together in one go-for-broke batter.
- 1½ cups unbleached white flour
- 1½ cups cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
- ⅓ cup raw or packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup melted ghee or oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. For crusty cornbread, place in oven to heat.
- Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Add the melted ghee or oil, buttermilk, and water. Mix just until blended.
- Pour into the pan. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Unlike other quick breads, cornbread can be eaten as soon as it is baked — hot and crumbly is heavenly.
- Reduce the sugar to 3 tablespoons and add chopped jalapeño chilies, chopped bell peppers, and/or sliced dried tomatoes to the batter.
- Add chopped green herbs, such as sage, cilantro, or dill, to the batter.
- Add fresh corn kernels to the batter.
Recipe is reprinted with permission from Heaven's Banquet, by Miriam Kasin Hospodar, April, 1999.