Don’t talk to me about putting sugar in cornbread. If you do, it’s Yankee Cornbread. Good for, well – I can’t think of anything.
Southern cornbread requires a few things:
- A No. 8 or No. 10 iron skillet. No. 8 if you want a fat loaf, No. 10 if you like it thin and crispy.
- Grease. Sorry, but you low-fatters will just have to find another recipe.
- A hot oven. Don’t try this on low heat – you won’t get the same results.
2 cups cornmeal, preferably white stone-ground, and self-rising if you can find it
OR: 1 1/2 cups cornmeal stirred with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (Not needed with self-rising cornmeal)
1/2 teaspoon salt (Not needed with self-rising cornmeal)
3/4 cup milk or buttermilk (about)
1/4 cup oil, bacon drippings or shortening
Make this in order: Preheat oven to 400. Put oil in skillet and put it in oven as it preheats. Make the batter: stir the dry ingredients together then add remaining ones; batter should be a little loose – slightly thicker than pancake batter. Add water to loosen as the weather indicates. (It will affect any batter.)
Remove skillet from oven and pour half of the hot oil (carefully!) into the batter and stir. Pour the batter into the hot skillet. (It should sizzle.)
Put skillet in oven and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and turn over onto a plate; cut into wedges and serve hot.
Makes 1 loaf.