Garlic-Crusted Cornbread

Time45 minutes
YieldsServes 8
Garlic-crusted cornbread.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
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Ori Zohar, one of the cofounders of the spice company Burlap & Barrel, loves using its garlic powder as an enhancer on the top of his cornbread. He adds it toward the end of cooking so the powder blooms in the heat and forms a flavorful crust on top. Burlap & Barrel’s uniquely aromatic purple-stripe garlic powder is wonderful here, but you can use any garlic powder you have. If you want a classic Southern-style cornbread for other uses, simply omit the garlic powder here.


Place a 9-inch round cake pan or oven-proof skillet in the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees.


Meanwhile, whisk together 1 cup of the cornmeal, plus the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs until smooth. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients, but do not stir them together.


Remove the pan from the oven, add the butter, then return the pan to the oven to melt the butter, 1 minute. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and gently swirl it so the butter coats the bottom and halfway up the side of the pan. When the butter is fully melted, pour it into the liquid ingredients in the bowl and quickly stir everything together with a small rubber spatula or spoon just until the batter combines and there are no dry patches of flour.


Sprinkle the bottom and side of the pan with the remaining 4 teaspoons cornmeal to lightly coat, then immediately scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.


Remove the cornbread from the oven; the top will be under-set and still wet on top. Using your fingers (not a spoon), sprinkle the garlic powder evenly over the cornbread and then return pan to the oven. Continue baking the cornbread until golden brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, an additional 12 to 15 minutes.


Remove the pan from the oven and let the cornbread cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cornbread and remove it from the pan or cut into wedges and serve from the pan. Serve with more butter melted over the top of each wedge or split the wedges in half and sandwich more butter in their middles, letting the butter melt before serving.

Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread
Use a 9- to 10-inch cast iron skillet in place of the cake pan. Heat the skillet on a stovetop over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, before adding the butter and swirling the skillet until the butter fully melts. Pour the butter into the batter, sprinkle the bottom of the skillet with the 4 teaspoons cornmeal, then add the batter. Bake in the oven according to the instructions above, omitting the garlic powder.