A Pretty Good Skillet cornbread

A Pretty Good Skillet cornbread

Old-fashioned, hearty cornbread with a crispy crust and soft interior.

1 cup unbleached flour

1 cup stone-ground corn meal

1/4 cup “quick” oats

1 tsp baking powder

1-1 1/2 cups milk

1 stick butter, softened, plus 1 tbsp for pan

1/4 cup brown sugar (if you like sweet bread, add more)

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

1 large egg.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and butter a med to large cast iron skillet with 1 tbsp. butter.    Smear the stick of butter into the sugar with a wooden spoon.  Break egg into butter mixture, then wash hands.  Whisk egg into itself first, then into the butter and sugar, which will begin to look curdled.  Whisk in vanilla and milk.

In a separate bowl, whisk baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter, which I do), and all three flours together.  Combine with wet mixture until quite thick, able to stand up on its own, but not too dry.  Add milk if it seems to dry, but don’t beat the batter too much.

Scrape out into middle of greased pan, allowing it to fall into place as it will.  It should be slightly higher in the center than at the edges.  Bake 20-35 minutes, depending on wetness of batter, altitude, and oven, until the edges are dark brown and a tester comes clean out of the middle. Let sit at least 5 minutes before cutting.

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