Growing up we either had cornbread or biscuits, homemade, on the table for ever meal. This is the recipe that is most like the one I grew up with. However, I'm sure my mother didn't take the time to bake her cornmeal before making the cornbread, but it certainly does add a lot of flavor.
FYI! There is NO sugar in real Southern cornbread. Not that I don't like cornbread with a little sugar, it's just not the real deal.
The whole secret here is that screamin', almost smokin' hot skillet.
If you happen to have a few wedges leftover, crumble a wedge into a tall glass and fill with buttermilk. How my dad loved that.
Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread
2 1/4 cups cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat 10-inch ovensafe skillet on middle rack for 10 minutes. Bake cornmeal on rimmed baking sheet set on lower-middle rack until fragrant and color begins to deepen, about 5 minutes. Transfer hot cornmeal to large bowl and whisk in buttermilk; set aside.
2. Add oil to hot skillet and continue to bake until oil is just smokin', about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and add butter, carefully swirling pan until butter is melted. Pour all but i tablespoon oil mixture into cornmeal mixture, leaving remaining fat in pan. Whisk baking, powder, baking soda, salt, and eggs into cornmeal mixture.
3. Pour cornmeal mixture into hot skillet and bake until top begins to crack and sides are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack. Cut in wedges and serve.