Total TimePrep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min.
North central Alabama here. We don’t use sugar or canola either. However, my son (30), really likes sweet cornbread.
I make my cornbread savory. No sugar in cornbread for me. I do use a cast iron skillet.
As soon as I saw Canola Oil and sugar, I knew this wasn't true Appalachian or southern cornbread. I grew up in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in the coal fields of Eastern Kentucky. Cornbread was made with bacon grease, cornmeal, buttermilk or sweet milk (your preference), etc. All in a hot cast iron skillet with bacon grease in the skillet and in the cornbread mixture.
I totally agree with David. Submitter doesn't know the true origins of oven - cornbread. There was no canola oil at that time. Yellow corn meal should be used instead of white. I'm 74 and I still prefer original butter milk and bacon grease in my corn bread. Traditional corn bread omitted the sugar. Oven does the browning not the sugar as another reviewer stated. I hate when even hushpuppies have sugar in them. If you're looking for something sweet then make yourself a corn -cake. Having lived in the south all my life corn bread was not meant to be altered by sweeteners. Nuff said and good luck to all...
This recipe is pretty close to what my mama called "egg bread." It has less fat and more buttermilk than I normally use; I suspect someone altered the original recipe to make it healthier by using oil instead of lard or bacon grease and cutting back on the fat in favor of extra buttermilk. Personally, I prefer my cornbread with the original fat content. Since I don't eat pork, I'd use coconut oil and use about 1/4 cup. I would also use lots less sugar next time. 2 Teaspoons is all you need to get a brown crust. One technique difference: The coconut oil has to be melted. So I'd put the coconut oil in the pan in the oven, then combine the dry ingredients as stated, combine the wet ingredients as stated, then combine the two. At that point, and working quickly, take the pan with the melted oil out of the oven and dump it into the batter, stirring to combine. Finally, pour the batter into the pan, put the pan in the oven, and bake until done. That may take a bit longer than 20 minutes; at least, in my oven it did.
It is not Southern or past down. Canola oil came into existence in 1978, not too many generations ago. For it to be Southern and fried, there needs to be more than a couple of tablespoons of oil. The ‘oil’ should be bacon drippings that have been saved from frying bacon every morning for breakfast. Put the bacon drippings in a cast iron pan, enough to completely cover the bottom. Then put the pan in a hot oven. Then make your batter without sugar. Then take the hot pan out and pour the batter into the hot drippings and listen to it sizzle. Bake and when finished remove pan and spread butter over the top. Northerners but beans in their chili and sugar in their cornbread!