Quite awhile ago, probably last winter, I had a request to share how I make cornbread. Today is rainy, overcast and cool (fall is finally on the way!), which puts me in mind of soup weather, and cornbread is very good with soup. So this seems like a good time to share.
Now through the years I've eaten many varieties of cornbread, from golden brown little soft squares served in cafeterias, to the sweet cake-like cornbread of the Cayman Islands, to crunchy corncob-shaped pone. And I grew up eating cornbread, mostly my grandmother's, which was the best. However, mine is not exactly like hers because when I was grown and married, the recipe I happened to find and start using was from the 1977 edition of Tea Time at the Masters, a cookbook from the Junior League of Augusta, Georgia. My recipe has a little bit of sweet to it, while my grandmother's did not (and my mom still prefers hers). If I get ahold of her recipe, I'll pass it along. In the meantime, my cornbread is still delicious and worth trying;)
To make good cornbread first assemble your ingredients.
You also need a cast-iron skillet, about 8 inches in diameter.
Put a dollop of bacon grease into the skillet, just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet.
|Blurry, but you can see about how much to add|
Leave the skillet in the oven until the grease has melted, then take it out of the oven and set it on the stovetop:
Meanwhile, mix up your ingredients (I just do it by hand, no need to get the mixer out).
Pour the batter (which is fairly thick) into the skillet. It will look like this:
Put it into your preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until the middle is cooked through.
|Doesn't it look beautifully crusty?|
Hopefully it comes out looking like this:
If your cornbread sticks in the skillet, it will be messy but still taste good. Go ahead and eat it. It just means your skillet needs to be seasoned a little. You can read up on how to do that yourself, but it's easy. Basically, just grease your skillet down and warm it in the oven for a little while. Take it out and let it cool. Then wipe down with a paper towel and put away until next time.
|Another blurry shot|
I usually make two cornbreads because of my large family. And now that I have another 8-inch cast-iron skillet, I can make two at the same time. You can butter it or not, and it goes well with vegetable type soups and bean soups, too.
If you have any left over, my very favorite way to eat cornbread is to crumble it up into a mug, pour milk on top and eat with a spoon. Mmmmm! That was something my paternal grandfather loved, and then me, and now my daughter:)
|Great for breakfast the next morning|
Sour Cream (or Yogurt) Corn Bread
3/4 cup corn meal (yellow or white)
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
Mix all ingredients just enough to blend well. Pour in a greased 8-inch square (or round) pan. Bake at 425 ºF for 20-25 minutes. 8 pieces.