Baking has been a challenge for me since moving from the East Coast to Colorado. The altitude does nothing for my recipes from back home but I’m finally getting the hang of it. I conquered making my wonderfully buttery Southern cornbread here in Denver. I was so thrilled when I took that first bite of hot, buttery goodness straight out of the oven and knew I finally had my recipe back (I’ve tried making it a few times with little to no success before this).
Baking is Denver after learning at sea level is like having to learn chemistry all over again. Yes, I said it! Cooking is about science, especially when it comes to baking and getting the right amounts of liquids, acids and bases into the dish to get it to rise beautifully without falling or over-rising. Bake goods also dry out faster when baking here, so you have to add more liquid, bake faster (or slower in some cases) and get everything into an air tight container pretty quickly or it dries out and becomes hard.
I don’t like cornbread that is too dry and doesn’t have enough sweetness to it. That being said, I don’t like it when it’s overly sweet either (more like cake sweet). This recipe is the perfect amount of moisture and sweet and bakes up beautifully. You can make it into muffins and add corn or jalapeño (some people add cheese as well but in my opinion it doesn’t need it and just adds fat) to it for a nice Southwestern cornbread which I have come to love since moving out here. It’s just the right amount of sweet with spicy when you add the peppers.
Turkey and Black Bean Chili recipe that I shared earlier this week. I’ve included the ingredient amounts for both sea level and for 5,280 ft. Anyone higher will still need to make adjustments. This recipe makes a huge pan so if you don’t need that much, try cutting the recipe in half. Have fun making your homemade Southern style cornbread and let your taste buds enjoy the wonderful flavors of tender, crumbly corn bread and butter.
2/3 cups of butter or baking margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 2/3 cups skim milk or 1 cup of half-n-half and 2/3 cup water
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 tsp. double action baking powder (4 1/2 tsp. regular baking powder for sea level)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (1 tsp. salt for sea level)
1/2 tsp. baking soda (high altitude only)
Preheat oven to 375°. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar before adding eggs one at a time, beating in between. Add milk and mix well. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt, add slowly to creamed mixture until mixed well. Pour into a greased 13″ x 9″ x 2″ greased baking pan. Bake in oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. About 45 minutes for me in Denver. Cut into squares and serve warm.
Yield: 12 – 15 servings.