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The cast iron pan really does make all the difference. It gives the edges a nice buttery crispness. Make sure you give the oven and the pan plenty of time to preheat. If the butter doesn't sizzle when you lube up the pan, the pan isn't hot enough. Recipe from Alton Brown, but I've reduced the salt by 1/2 a teaspoon from his version.
- Place cast iron skillet in oven and preheat to 450.
- In large bowl, combine cornmeal and milk and set aside. For best results, give it 15 minutes to soak. You need this time anyway so that the pan can get plenty hot.
- In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and oil.
- In a third (large) bowl, combine the flour, paking powder, and salt.
- Stir the eggs and oil into the cornmeal mixture. Combine thoroughly, and then add the wet stuff into the dry stuff. Stir until the mixture just comes together, being careful not to over-mix.
- Carefully remove the hot cast iron pan from the oven and rub the butter onto the bottom and sides. Pour in the batter and return the pan to the oven.
- Bake at 450 for about 25 minutes, until the center hits 190 or a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cornbread should slide easily out of pan. Cut into wedges (this is easier when it's upside down) and devour.