Cornbread, as you like it

Savory or sweet, plain or flavored, it aims to please
ELAINE JOHNSON

With the zeal of politicians, some people insist that cornbread should be dense and straightforward, with a modicum of sweetness. Others find virtue in the tenderness and rich browning that a little more sugar gives the bread. Once you've cast your vote, savory or sweet is but a steppingstone to further adventures with this simple stir-and-bake quick bread. Vary the forms of cornmeal, from stone-ground to polenta, for a surprising range of flavors and textures. Then use herbs, spices, chilies, and cheeses to add even more personality. Note: At high altitudes, cornbreads with additions that increase the moisture content, such as the "double red" and basil-parmesan recipes below, may take 15 to 20 minutes longer to bake.

Recipes:

Savory or Sweet Cornbread

Vary-the-Corn Bread

Double Red Cornbread

Basil-Parmesan Cornbread

Curry Cornbread

Southwest Cornbread

Habanero Surprise Muffins