Southern Corn Bread
Makes one 9-inch bread
Preheat the oven to 450°F with a heavy 9-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, in the oven. You can also use an 8-inch square glass baking dish if you don't have a cast iron pan, but you don't need to preheat the oven with the glass pan in it.
Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:
1 3/4 cups organic cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
Whisk until foamy in another bowl:
2 large eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk*
Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until blended. Remove the skillet from the oven and add:
1 tablespoon olive oil
If using onions, add them now. Briefly sauté them until wilted or translucent. Use up to half a cup of minced onions.
Pour the batter into the pan all at once.
Bake until the top is browned and the center feels firm when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately from the pan, cut into wedges or squares, with: Butter
Leftovers, though dry, are nice enough if wrapped in foil and re-warmed in a low oven. You can also put a crumbled slice of cornbread in a glass and cover with buttermilk--my favorite way to eat leftover cornbread.
*If you are using a stone-ground cornmeal, which is to say coarser, you may want to use the larger amount of buttermilk. If using a normal, store-bought, finely ground cornmeal, use the smaller amount. Either way, start with 1 1/2 cups and go from there. You want the batter to be fairly thin (i.e. not as thick as pancake batter) but not soupy.