We're mystified by how many people use mixes to make cornbread when it is almost as easy and fast, and much cheaper, to make it from scratch. In our favorite recipe, from Bread, by Beth Hensperger, buttermilk provides tanginess and moistness and eliminates the cloying sweetness common to most box mixes.
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal*
1/2 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
4 T. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
4 T. melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a good-size bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and sugar. (If the baking powder is lumpy, first push it through a fine strainer to prevent the harsh-tasting lumps from cooking into the bread.)
2. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. Add to the dry ingredients. Gently stir until it's just mixed.
3. Transfer the batter to a greased pie pan or square baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the bread gets a nice, brown crust and a knife comes out clean. If you like your cornbread on the moist side, check it at the 25-minute mark; it may be baked enough for you.
4. Devour, but remember that the leftovers are wonderful split and toasted.
* Any cornmeal works well, but we think a mixture of coarse and fine provides the most interesting texture. Again, it's a matter of taste.