Extra-Moist Cheese and Black Pepper Cornbread
Makes 2 8-X 8 pans
You might want to double this; most people will want at least two pieces. The batter will fill the pans only about halfway up; it’s so moist that otherwise (if, for instance, you tried to make it one big pan). the middle part won’t be done. This way, you get the nice moist center, but a lovely crisp-crunchy cheese topped crust.
This recipe, too, can be largely done ahead: combine the dry ingredients a night or two or three before. Leave this dry mix in a tightly covered mixing bowl. Combine the wet ingredients, and refrigerate them, again, a couple of nights before is fine, in a suitably sized container. Have the grated cheese ready, too. Then, on the day of, preheat the oven, pick up at step 4, and you’re in business.
This is an embellished cornbread. For two simpler, plain cornbreads, please see Dairy Hollow House Skillet Sizzled Cornbread and Ronni’s Appalachian-Style Cornbread.
Vegetable cooking oil spray
1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 ¾ cups stoneground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper (use a coarse grind)
2 3 cups milk
1/3 cup mild vegetable oil, such as corn, canola, or peanut
1 cup canned creamed corn
1 3/4 cup (8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar or Jack cheese, or a combination
1 tablespoon butter
Salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 400. Spray 2 8 X 8 baking pans with cooking oil, and set aside.
- Stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl.
- Break the eggs into a second medium bowl, and whisk them well. Whisk into them the milk and oil.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, using a whisk (batter will be thinner than the usual cornbread). Still, use as few strokes as possible. Stir in creamed corn and half the cheese, mixing just until ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the batter to the prepared pans, and top with the reserved cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and top with the butter and a sprinkle of salt. Serve, hot, right away.