Mark Twain famously said, “Perhaps no bread in the world is quite as good as Southern corn bread.” That might be a bit of a stretch, but this versatile bread certainly has a following. There are even annual competitions and national festivals for this simple bread. There are lots of recipes but if you’re after proper Southern-style cornbread, it has to include coarse ground cornmeal and buttermilk.
This recipe is one of the easiest and comes from Quaker Oats (one the larger cornmeal producers in the USA). It uses a mix of cornmeal and flour so purists will argue this isn’t a proper Southern recipe, but it’s what I grew up with and I still love it.
- 1 cup Quaker® Yellow or White Corn Meal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 3 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C). Grease 8-inch square pan with solid vegetable shortening or non-stick cooking spray.
In large bowl, combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, egg and oil. Beat until fairly smooth, about 1 minute.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 23 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
This is best cooked in a cast iron skillet. You can make it in any sort of dish, but you need a cast iron skillet to get that crunchy crust that makes it a proper Southern cornbread.
Put your skillet in the oven and get it piping hot. Wipe with oil or bacon grease and sprinkle some cornmeal over it. Pour in your cornbread mixture and put it straight into the oven. Your mixture should bubble as you pour it in the skillet.
HINT: To cook on stove, heat skillet to a medium heat. Add mixture (bit over half full). Cook for about 10 minutes and check bottom to make sure it is good and brown. Turn off heat and keep covered with a heavy lid for a further 10-15 minutes.
Muffins or Corn Sticks - Pour corn bread batter into greased or paper-lined muffin cups OR hot, well-greased corn stick pans. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. YIELD: 12 muffins or about 14 corn sticks.
Mexican Corn Bread - Stir 1 cup whole kernel corn, 2 tablespoons chopped green chillies and 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder into batter. Bake in greased (with solid shortening) or non-stick cooking sprayed 8-inch square pan for 22 to 25 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; top with 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese.