This cornbread is a rare compromise between Southern and Northern cornbreads: it's "just right," as far as the amount of sugar. It's tender and moist, with a balanced corn flavor. While delicious just as it is, this recipe can also accommodate all kinds of personal touches. Feel free to add some cheese, green onions, corn kernels, jalapeo peppers, cooked sausage, or any combination of these suggestions. The combined volume of your add-ins should be a maximum of 1 cup.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9" square or round pan (a cast iron skillet will work fine, too), shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, or 12 muffin cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Stir in any desired herbs, cheese, corn kernels, or other flavorings.
In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, melted butter, vegetable oil (if you're using it), and egg.
Pour the liquid all at once into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan, or scoop into the muffin tin.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the pan and a cake tester or paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 5 minutes before cutting; serve warm.