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In need of a cornbread recipe.
May 16, 2012 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a cast iron skillet cornbread recipe.

I love cornbread. The kind of cornbread I ate growing up, anyway. Cornbread that IS NOT SWEET. Cornbread that is dry and awesome when dripping with butter, or eaten with milk or beans or chili. Cornbread made in a cast-iron skillet filled with oil that sizzles as you pour in the batter. Real cornbread, in other words.

I have a 10-inch cast iron skillet and a nostalgic desire for cornbread tonight. How can I make this happen?
posted by jsturgill to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
beans optional
posted by elizardbits at 10:54 AM on May 16, 2012


Junior Daughty's recipe.
posted by timsteil at 10:58 AM on May 16, 2012


I generally use the recipe that comes on the side of the bag of cornmeal. "Real cornbread" enthusiasts might scoff, but self-rising cornmeal and the recipe on the bag makes really good cornbread IMO. And it's not sweet, because that wouldn't be corn bread.
posted by Acton at 11:09 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mark Bittman's cornbread recipe. So good. Not sweet. One of the Top Ten Things That Stops MsKyle from Going Paleo.
posted by mskyle at 11:16 AM on May 16, 2012


One word: Lard
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:19 AM on May 16, 2012


Oh, crap - there are three versions of that Mark Bittman recipe - I recommend the "old fashioned" version.
posted by mskyle at 11:20 AM on May 16, 2012


I have no idea how Epicurious got my grandmother's recipe, but here it is:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Skillet-Corn-Bread-350595

If you don't have buttermilk, a mixture of yogurt or sour cream and milk will work just as well. Enjoy!
posted by cyndigo at 11:43 AM on May 16, 2012


Some of these, like the epicurious link, do include some sugar. Is that chemically important, thus requiring a substitute, or can I simply withhold the sugar and still get a good result?
posted by jsturgill at 11:48 AM on May 16, 2012


Sure, leave it out, and your cornbread will wind up just as you like.
posted by Rash at 12:00 PM on May 16, 2012


The Bittman "old-fashioned" version of the recipe says "1 tbsp (or none)" of sugar. It's not "structural."
posted by mskyle at 12:06 PM on May 16, 2012


My own recipe.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:09 PM on May 16, 2012


2 C. cornmeal
1/4 C. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
2 eggs
2 C. buttermilk
6 T. bacon drippings

Mix all ingredients, adding 1/2 of bacon drippings to batter, and half to cast iron skillet. Pour batter into hot skillet. Cook at 375 for 35 minutes.
posted by Gilbert at 12:31 PM on May 16, 2012


I have been very happy with the Lee Brothers cornbread recipe, and I'm posting it here because you mentioned sizzle, and theirs specifically says "Pour the batter into the skillet; it should sizzle alluringly" as one of the steps.

Cookstr link
posted by ftm at 1:03 PM on May 16, 2012


The Cooks Illustrated recipe for Southern-Style Cornbread (with bacon fat, YES!) is really good, and does the sizzling thing that makes for a great crust. It calls for a small amount of sugar that you could leave out if you wanted. It looks like someone transcribed it here, but if you have access to the CI website, I'm sure it's there as well.
posted by misskaz at 4:09 PM on May 16, 2012


My recipe: True Southern cornbread, as made in Northern Mississippi/Southern Tennessee (not sweet at all, and in fact no sugar in the recipe), plus bonus recipe for making cornbread dressing with the addition of a few ingredients.
posted by Houstonian at 5:41 PM on May 16, 2012


Pam Anderson's Southern-style skillet cornbread from The Perfect Recipe is the version I swear by. This Yankee will never make another sweet muffin-disguised-as-cornbread again. Bacon fat is excellent in the skillet but it burns quickly, so I put it in the hot pan and swirl to melt right before adding the batter.

Courtesy of Google Books.
posted by Quietgal at 6:37 PM on May 16, 2012


My grandma's secret for tasty cornbread: Brown some dry meal in your hot oil before adding the batter. That makes the tastiest crust I've ever had (and I've been eating cornbread 2-3 times a week for over 50 years).

And as an aside, you can also fry your cornbread batter instead of bake.
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:06 PM on May 16, 2012


Also experiment with both yellow and white cornmeals.
posted by buggzzee23 at 8:07 PM on May 16, 2012


My baseline cornbread is pretty similar to Mark Bittman's "old-fashioned" version. Occasionally I crave something sweeter or lighter, in which case I make the appropriate alterations.

Cornbread is pretty tolerant stuff. You don't have to be too exact about proportions; you'll figure out what works best for your own taste, skillet, and oven.

I generally use about 1 part coarse-ground to 2 parts medium-ground yellow cornmeal. I also like to put some coarse salt in the bottom of the pan right before I add the batter to the melted fat. (Which I guess is a variation on buggzzee23's grandma's toasted-cornmeal addition.)
posted by tangerine at 10:26 PM on May 16, 2012


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