Southern Cornbread Ingredients:
1 cup Cornmeal (yellow) not self-rising
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1 cup Buttermilk
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp Oil or a non-sticking spray for your skillet if you’re using one or a Pyrex dish
½ cup milk, whole milk (can use 2%)
½ cup Flour, All-purpose
½ tsp Baking Soda
¼ cup oil, Vegetable or Canola
Heat your oven to 375 degrees
Bake for 35 – 40 min
Check with a toothpick om the center for doneness
A bit about Cornbread
Cornbread is a quick bread made with cornmeal, associated with the cuisine of the Southern United States, with origins in Native American cuisine. It is an example of batter bread. Dumplings and pancakes made with finely ground cornmeal were staple foods of the Hopi people in Arizona. The Hidatsa people of the Upper Midwest called baked cornbread naktsi. Cherokee and Seneca tribes enriched the basic batter, adding chestnuts, sunflower seeds, apples or berries, and sometimes combining beans or potatoes with the cornmeal. Modern versions of cornbread are usually leavened by baking powder.
Native Americans had been using ground corn (maize) as food for thousands of years before Europeans arrived in the New World. European settlers, especially those who resided in the English Southern Colonies, learned the original recipes and processes for corn dishes from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek, and soon they devised recipes for using cornmeal in breads similar to those made of grains available in Europe. Cornbread has been called a “cornerstone” of the cuisine of the Southern United States. Cornmeal is produced by grinding dry raw corn grains. A coarser meal (compare flour) made from corn is grits. Grits are produced by soaking raw corn grains in hot water containing calcium hydroxide (an alkaline salt), which loosens the grain hulls (bran) and increases the nutritional value of the product (by increasing available niacin and available amino acids). These are separated by washing and flotation in water, and the now softened slightly swelled grains are called hominy. Hominy, pozole in Mexican Spanish, also is ground into masa harina for arepas, tamales and tortillas. This ancient Native American technology has been named nixtamalization. Besides cornbread, Native Americans used corn to make numerous other dishes from the familiar hominy grits to alcoholic beverages (such as Andean chicha). Cornbread was popular during the American Civil War because it was very cheap and could be made in many different forms—high-rising, fluffy loaves or simply fried (as unleavened pone, corn fritters, hoecakes, etc.).
Types of cornbread
Cornbread is a popular item in Southern cooking enjoyed by many people for its texture and aroma. Cornbread can be baked, fried, or (rarely) steamed. Steamed cornbread is mushy, chewier, and more like cornmeal pudding than what most consider to be traditional cornbread. Cornbread can also be baked into corn cakes.
Cornbread is a common bread in United States cuisine, particularly associated with the South and Southwest, as well as being a traditional staple for populations where wheat flour was more expensive. Cornbread, especially leftovers, can be eaten as a breakfast. It is also widely eaten with barbecue and chili con carne. In parts of the southern and southwestern United States, cornbread, accompanied by pinto beans, has been a common lunch for many people. It is still a common side dish for many suppers, often served with butter. Cornbread crumbs are also used in some poultry stuffings or dressing as it is called; cornbread stuffing is particularly associated with Thanksgiving turkeys.
In the United States, northern and southern cornbread are different because they generally use different types of corn meal and varying degrees of sugar and eggs. Southern cornbread has traditionally been made with little or no sugar and smaller amounts of flour (or no flour), with northern cornbread being sweeter and more cake-like. Southern cornbread traditionally used white cornmeal and buttermilk. Other ingredients such as pork rinds are sometimes used. Cornbread is occasionally crumbled and served with cold milk or clabber (buttermilk), similar to cold cereal. In Texas, Mexican influence has spawned a hearty cornbread made with fresh or creamed corn kernels and jalapeño peppers and topped with shredded cheese. Cornbread is typically eaten with molasses in the southern states and with butter and honey in the northern states of America.
Skillet-fried or skillet-baked cornbread (often simplified to cornbread or skillet bread) is a traditional staple in the rural United States, especially in the South. This involves heating bacon drippings, lard or other oil in a heavy, well-seasoned cast iron skillet in an oven, and then pouring a batter made from cornmeal, egg, and milk directly into the hot grease. The mixture is returned to the oven to bake into a large, crumbly and sometimes very moist cake with a crunchy crust. This bread tends to be dense and is usually served as an accompaniment rather than as a bread served as a regular course. In addition to the skillet method, such cornbread also may be made in sticks, muffins, or loaves.
A slightly different variety, cooked in a simple baking dish, is associated with northern U.S. cuisine. The batter for northern-style cornbread is very similar to and sometimes interchangeable with that of a corn muffin. A typical contemporary northern U.S. cornbread recipe contains half wheat flour, half cornmeal, milk or buttermilk, eggs, leavening agent, salt, and usually sugar, resulting in a bread that is somewhat lighter and sweeter than the traditional southern version.
Unlike fried variants of cornbread, baked cornbread is a quick bread that is dependent on an egg-based protein matrix for its structure (though the addition of wheat flour adds gluten to increase its cohesiveness). The baking process gelatinizes the starch in the cornmeal, but still often leaves some hard starch to give the finished product a distinctive sandiness not typical of breads made from other grains.