For this moist, fragrant cornbread, based on a recipe in her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997), author Deborah Madison searches farmers' markets for interesting cornmeal, such as Floriani Red Flint (used here), Roy's Calais, or blue corn. For a denser bread, you can use all cornmeal instead of mixing it with flour.
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup flour (all-purpose, white whole-wheat, or spelt)
1 cup red*, blue, or yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
2 cups buttermilk
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°. Put butter in a 10-in. cast-iron frying pan and set in oven. (It's okay if the butter browns a bit; it will only add flavor.)
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix eggs, sugar, and buttermilk in another bowl.
Remove pan from oven and brush butter over the inside.
Whisk wet into dry ingredients, pour in melted butter from pan, and whisk until batter is smooth.
Pour batter into hot pan and bake until lightly browned and springy to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes.
*Find red cornmeal on starkeroundbarn.com; blue and yellow cornmeals are widely available.