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Comfort Food: Herbed Skillet Cornbread

April 7, 2011

I must admit I’m a little worried. I’m afraid my tolerance for sweets is waning. Once again today, I was yearning for something savory. Then again, to be fair, I spent last weekend making 50 scones for a bake sale, eating two of said scones, along with a cupcake, a Nanaimo bar, and more than a few macarons. Not to mention a couple of those Raspberry-Rhubarb Fools that have been taunting me in my fridge… Okay, you’re right, I was in desperate need of a sugar detox.

A mostly-full carton of leftover buttermilk and a bout of April thunderstorms urged me to bake something warm and comforting, something bright to break through the ominous clouds: a skillet of fragrant cornbread, laden with fresh herbs. And it worked. As I pulled the pan out of the oven, the sun burst through the windows of my apartment and warmed my skin. A few bites of this delicious bread and my soul was warmed through, too.

It may seem strange to drizzle honey on a savory herbed bread, but trust me, it’s divine.

Herbed Skillet Cornbread

adapted from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups stone ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp each rosemary, thyme and basil, finely chopped (or use other herbs of your choice, like dill or sage)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted, plus more for pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a 9-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you prepare the batter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir in the herbs.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, honey, eggs and melted butter. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  4. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and add 1 Tbsp butter, swirling as it melts to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour in the batter and smooth the top.
  5. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with a drizzle of honey or a smear of butter (or both!). Enjoy!

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