This is for those who do not want a sweet cornbread. A true southern dish, it was handed down in it's original form from my Grandmother to my Mom, to me. In later years Mom altered it by changing from bacon fat to canola oil, egg whites or egg substitute from a whole egg, and less salt to lower the fat, salt, and calories, but it is still yummy.
It is great with any southern dinner, or with a beef vegetable soup, pinto beans, etc. I even like a slice buttered and spread with honey for desssert.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put approximately 2 tablespoons of canola in a 10" iron skillet. Pre-heat on medium setting. (You may use another type of baking dish, but nothing makes the golden crust like the iron skillet.) Non-stick cooking spray may be substituted for the oil, but do not spray until just before adding batter.
Place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and mix well with a whisk.
Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl, (I use a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup with pouring lip). Use the whisk to slightly beat the egg into the oil and buttermilk.
Pour wet ingredients into dry; mix with whisk to combine. Tilt skillet around to coat bottom and sides with the canola oil, then pour in the batter. (It should be hot enough to sizzle!)
Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until dark golden brown. Remove from heat, and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cut and enjoy!
A favorite variation is to add one chopped fresh jalapeno and one small bunch thinly sliced green onions, the whole onion, green and white parts. Add just before pouring into skillet.