Southern Cooking Cornbread
Cornbread has always been a “staple” in the southern kitchen. It was part of the “always a hot bread” addition to any meal at our home. Actually my mother, continued, till she passed at 90, to bake hot bread for her meals. (She detested a cold sandwich served at lunch.) Call it the second part of the “southern trinity”: biscuits, cornbread or rolls - one was always part of the meal – breakfast lunch or dinner.
There are some slight variations with regard to additions: 1) use of self-rising cornmeal 2) addition of sugar y/n.
I highly recommend using self-rising cornmeal. It is a time saver with no sacrifice of quality. Self-rising flour has the added ingredients of baking powder, baking soda and salt, thereby saving the cook of time and effort of measuring and adding these three ingredients. So with self-rising cornmeal, all one needs to add is: egg, liquid shortening and milk – preferably buttermilk. Sugar is an addition of which is purely personal taste.
So all that said, here’s the recipe for southern cooking cornbread:
1 ½ cups Self-rising cornmeal
1 cup Buttermilk
¼ cup liquid shortening – like olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Sugar – or less by taste’s desire(Optional)!
1-2 Tablespoons of liquid shortening/oil for the skillet
Combine all ingredients, mix well. Pour into greased skillet, cornstick pan, or muffin tins (makes 12 muffins).
Read these general tips prior to the assembly of ingredients below:
Cornbread requires a hot over – like southern biscuits. So fire oven up to 450 degrees and put a 7” iron skillet or corn stick pan, in the oven with about one to two tablespoons of oil. If using a corn stick pan, grease the sticks part with solid oil, like Crisco, so the sticks will not adhere to the pan or pan. This will make the outer crust crispy and delicious and also enables it to immediately release from the skillet.. When you’re ready to add the dough, sprinkle some cornmeal in the skillet. This is the southern cooking secret.
Dough will be…not thick. Just be sure to mix to incorporate all the ingredients.
When cornbread is finished, turn out on a cooling rack or turn upside down in the skillet (this will keep it warm). Just prior to serving, slice in wedges. (Reminder, pi are square, cornbread are round, hee hee).
Purest's don’t use the cornmeal…so that it’s pure Cornbread. However, try this recipe and see how you like it. Suit yourself! This is not an exact science… If you chose to Not incorporate cornmeal, just reduce the milk slightly. Not to worry, you’ll get the hang of it. Cornbread is good with Any soup or stew…”I don’t care who you are!” Remember to have fun – your family will also remember and appreciate your efforts!