(American cornmeal bread)
6 to 8 servings
- Cornmeal, preferably white -- 1 3/4 cup
- Baking powder -- 1 teaspoon
- Baking soda -- 1 teaspoon
- Sugar (optional) -- 1 tablespoon
- Salt -- 1 teaspoon
- Eggs, beaten -- 2
- Buttermilk -- 2 cups
- Butter or bacon fat -- 2 tablespoons
- Preheat oven to 450ºF and place a cast-iron skillet into the oven. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Beat the eggs and buttermilk together in another bowl.
- Stir the wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until the whole mass comes together. Do not overmix; a few dry spots and lumps are fine.
- Remove the hot cast-iron skillet from the oven, add the butter or bacon fat and distribute it evenly around the bottom of the skillet. Pour the batter into the skillet and spread it out evenly.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Turn cornbread out onto serving platter, cut into wedges and serve.
- Northern Cornbread: Reduce oven heat to 425ºF. Follow the recipes above, but instead of using all cornmeal, use 1 cup of cornmeal and 3/4 cup of flour. Yellow cornmeal is preferred. Increase baking powder to 2 teaspoons.
- Possible additions: minced jalapeño, fresh corn, shredded cheese, minced herbs, pork cracklings, bacon bits. Stir any addition into the wet ingredients.
- If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 2 tablespoons of yogurt to 2 cups of milk. Let set 10-15 minutes before using.
- The batter can also be poured into a cast-iron cornbread stick mold. Reduce baking time to 10-15 minutes. Or try pouring into greased muffin tins.
- After the cornbread comes out of the oven, brush the top crust with butter, or with honey mixed with a little water .