Originating from the Southern States of America, this versatile bread is soft and fluffy. Add in additional flavours to create your own savoury or sweet version.

Serves 6

Ingredients
50g butter, plus extra for greasing
225g fine cornmeal
140g plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp salt
2 x 284ml cartons buttermilk (or same quantity semi-skimmed milk with a squeeze of lemon juice)
2 eggs

Method
1. Heat oven to 230C/fan 210C/gas 8. Smear some butter all over a 23cm cake tin or ovenproof frying pan. Melt the butter in a separate pan. Tip in the onion and cook over a gentle heat for 5 mins until softened.

2. Meanwhile tip all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat together the buttermilk and eggs in a separate bowl, then stir in the buttery onions. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix together until just combined and you have a batter.

3. Pour the batter into the cake tin or frying pan and smooth the top with a knife. Bake for 25 mins until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 mins, then turn out, cut into wedges and serve. You can make up to 2 days ahead and store in an airtight container, or freeze for up to 1 month.