This cornbread is delicious warm, with sweet butter. To use it for panzanella, allow the bread to cool completely before cutting it into cubes. You can also make the cornbread a day in advance, letting it dry out a bit before turning it into panzanella.
Makes one 10- or 12-inch inch round
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon grease
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
2. Pour the olive oil or bacon grease into a 10-or 12-inch cast-iron (or other ovenproof) skillet. Tilt to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet with the oil or grease and place in the preheated oven.
3. Stir the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter and stir just until the dry ingredients are no longer visible; don’t mix any more than necessary.
4. Remove the hot skillet from the oven. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake the cornbread for 20 to 25 minutes, until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cornbread rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting it.