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Cornbread

Cornbread

Golden on the outside with a nutty, flavorful crumb tucked inside.

This is the type of cornbread my Mom and Grandmothers made. Just as any Southern cook has at least one “go to” biscuit recipe you can bet they have one or two great cornbread recipes.

One of the many recipes for cornbread, published in a cookbook from my Grandmother Grace Pearl’s collection, circa 1934.

I have vivid memories of cornbread in my family. My Mom’s Mother – Granny as she was fondly known – would bake pans of this golden bread for us when we were kids. Then we would split piping hot slices, smear freshly churned butter across each side and sprinkle sugar over the melting butter. Crazy but heavenly!

Flours and grains have made a wonderful return to the method of stone grinding, including cornmeal. After years of being over-processed leaving the ground corn a vague resemblance of its former self, you can now find stone ground cornmeal readily available. Offered in fine, medium and coarse grinds all lend a distinct texture and taste to cornbread. Coarse ground cornmeal has a heartier flavor – letting notes of corn come through while producing a slightly heavier crumb and a deeper color.

And there’s nothing better for baking this rich loaf of goodness than a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Heat the skillet inside the oven while it preheats. This sets the crust of the cornbread creating a delightful texture that contrasts with the tender crumb inside.

Cornbread – a comforting bread and a Southern fixture.

Cornbread

1 cup medium ground yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground

½ cup flour

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup half and half or whole milk

1 extra-large egg

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup shortening, melted and cooled slightly

Place a 9” cast iron skillet (measured across the top) in a 425-degree oven. Whisk together the cornmeal, the flour, kosher salt, black pepper and sugar.

Add the buttermilk, the half and half, the egg, baking powder, baking soda and the melted shortening.

Whisk the batter until fairly smooth, about 15 to 20 seconds.

Remove the skillet from the oven and spray the inside with a cooking spray. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and return it to the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves 6.

Cornbread, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

October 17, 2018
: 6

Golden on the outside with a nutty, flavorful crumb tucked inside. Cornbread - a comforting bread and a Southern fixture.

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Ingredients
  • 1 cup medium ground yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup half and half or whole milk
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup shortening, melted and cooled slightly
Directions
  • Step 1 Place a 9” cast iron skillet (measured across the top) in a 425-degree oven.
  • Step 2 Whisk together the cornmeal, the flour, kosher salt, black pepper and sugar.
  • Step 3 Add the buttermilk, the half and half, the egg, baking powder, baking soda and the melted shortening. Whisk the batter until fairly smooth, about 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Step 4 Remove the skillet from the oven and spray the inside with a cooking spray. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and return it to the oven.
  • Step 5 Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.


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