Sunday, August 1, 2010

Southern Cornbread

My father-in-law loves cornbread. But not just any cornbread. And certainly not sweet cornbread. He's from West Virginia originally (does that really count as the South?) and turns his nose at the sweet and cakey (read delicious) stuff we Northerners think of as cornbread.

So for his birthday, I researched a bunch of different recipes and decided on a hybrid that *thankfully* met with his approval. Note that there is very little flour in this version making the results fairly dense. But it got 2 thumbs up and an assurance that this is "real" cornbread. My only regret is that I don't have a cast iron skillet, but that's not specific to this recipe. It's a general life regret. Someday...

This recipe is super simple, so simple that to make myself feel like I was really doing something, I made the buttermilk from scratch*. I think next time I might add some actual kernels of corn (cooked of course). I don't want to mess with a good thing, but if it's not sweet, it might as well have some fun bits inside. Which might just be a new personal motto.

*Making buttermilk is easy peasy. I especially love to do this when a recipe calls for a small amount and I don't want to buy an entire carton at the store. Just mix a ratio of 1 cup of whole milk to 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Let it hang out for about 10 minutes; it will thicken and curdle slightly. And voila - homemade buttermilk.

Southern Cornbread

2 cups of yellow cornmeal
½ cup sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons bacon fat (or vegetable oil)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put the drippings in a cake pan or cast iron skillet and place it in the oven for a few minutes until it’s sizzling.

2. Mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. Whisk together egg and buttermilk. Combine with dry ingredients.

4. Remove the cake pan from the oven and pour the hot oil into the batter. Mix thoroughly.

5. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until the top is browned and the cornbread has started to pull away from the sides of the pan.


  1. Thanks for making my dad's birthday extra special!

  2. You're such a good daughter-in-law! Definitely a fab. recipe :-)

  3. thanks Em! I'm sure you're a pretty fab daughter-in-law yourself!!

  4. Love it!! And HELLO, West Virginia might not technically be the South but it is most definitely COUNTRY!! :) xoxo

  5. whoops, this is mary by the way!

  6. Mary!! this made my day; thanks for stopping by! :o)