The classic American loaf baked in a cast-iron frying pan and studded with corn kernels. It is easily cut into wedges and can be served from the pan, if you like. The crust is deliciously crisp, and the bread is a brilliant accompaniment to baked hams or Southern Fried Chicken.
7 oz corn kernels
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup polenta
1 cup unbleached bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cup milk
1Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). If using fresh corn, hold each cob vertically and cut away all the kernels, from the tip down, with a sharp knife. Turn and continue cutting, removing as many whole kernels as possible.
2Put all the kernels into a small bowl and, working over the bowl, use the back of a knife to scrape each cob and remove the deliciously sweet corn pulp. Mix this in with the kernels.
3Brush a 9in (23cm) flameproof cast-iron frying pan with melted butter. Melt the butter for the batter in a small saucepan.
4Sift the polenta, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Add the corn kernels to the well. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, melted butter, and milk until thoroughly combined. Pour three-quarters of the milk mixture into the well in the flour, and begin to stir.
Finish and bake the bread
1Gradually draw in the dry ingredients, adding the remaining milk mixture, and stirring to make a smooth batter. Do not overstir the batter or the bread will be heavy.
2Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared frying pan and brush the top generously with melted butter. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the bread starts to shrink from the side of the pan and a metal skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cornbread cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm.