Sometimes early retirement is just about having enough time to do all the stuff around the house that you always wanted to do. To that end I recently set out to re-create my late Mom's southern-style cornbread. It was moist, not sweet and had a unique texture that just made you want more. Nothing I've had in the years since has come close, but I knew there had to be a way to do it. Over the course of a few weeks last month I tested all the recipes and corn meals I could find and nothing worked. By trial and error and experimentation, though, I found my way back to it. This being too good to sit on the only thing left is to share it widely and preach the gospel of great southern-style cornbread! Quick and easy to make, here's the link. Enjoy!
Southern Style Cornbread Recipe
This cornbread is simple and gives a moist, savory flavor. Eat warm from the oven or split in half and toast with butter or jam/honey. Also can be eaten without jam, as an accompaniment to any meal that doesn’t already have a lot of starch. Getting the right cornmeal is essential (see below). There is just enough sugar to take the edge off the dry ingredients, but the cornbread will not taste sweet. As a bonus, cornmeal is gluten free.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Place your baking dish in oven (7” x 11” glass oven dish or 10” cast iron pan or similar) From a stick of butter place 2 tablespoons of butter (1/4 stick) in the pan to melt while pan preheats. (Or you can use 2 tablespoons of bacon fat if you are really authentic.) Melt the other 6 tablespoons of butter separately for mixing into batter later.
2 Cups Cornmeal Use organic, stoneground cornmeal, medium grind or other specified for use with cornbread. Red Mill and ArrowHead are both good and available at Whole Foods and other fine food stores. Another favorite, by mail order, is the heirloom seed cornmeal being grown and ground by Anson Mills. Up to ½ cup of a (e.g. Red Mill) finer grind cornmeal can be substituted for medium grind if desired.
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (use sea salt for better flavor)
2 teaspoons sugar
Mix cornmeal and all dry ingredients and then mix together and blend in:
2 cups buttermilk
and the melted remainder of stick of butter, 6 tablespoons. Mix it gently just enough to wet everything.
Remove hot pan from oven, ensuring melted butter covers bottom and pour in the batter. Cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to set 5-10minutes before eating.