Finished product! Yep, that’s a TX hot pad.
Cornbread is easy and fast. Also cheap and very filling. And really good! We practically lived on it during the kid raising years. Big Boss loved (and still does), my cornbread. Years ago, his grandparents came down to visit us in Texas, so I made cornbread for supper one night. Oh man did it smell good! It was passed around and everyone was digging in except for Gramps. Big Boss asked him if he didn’t want any cornbread. Gramps smiled and said, “When I was growing up with 11 brothers and sisters, we had cornbread for breakfast, lunch and supper. Every day. I swore I’d never eat cornbread again and I haven’t.” I didn’t make cornbread for him again!!
One of my oldest and dearest recipes is my cornbread recipe! Can’t remember for sure where I got it though…maybe I cannot survive without it! I’ve had panic attacks in the past when I’m frantically searching for it, so now, it’s written in about 4 different places! Most often used is the index card copy that I made years ago and taped on the inside of a cabinet door.
Anyway…iron skillets are required for cornbread. Do you hear me Jr. in CA?!!! REQUIRED! They’re not expensive and chances are you have one in your kitchen now. I prefer the divided kind. The ones that say “Cornbread Skillet”. I know. Snarky. The blacker, the better. The older, the better.
A hot oven is the other MUST. HOT, I tell you. Now that you know what’s required, we can begin.
All ready to go and yes, I have a Texas skillet. Also a TX casserole dish,
1 cup +2 Tablespoons milk (whole, 2%, whatever and mixing up some powdered milk works too)
1/2 cup flour, all purpose (sometimes I use half whole wheat, half all purpose)
1 cup YELLOW cornmeal not white… YELLOW (store it in the fridge..goes rancid FAST!)
1-2 Tablespoons sugar (honey works too, just use 1 cup milk)3 teaspoons baking powder…not soda, POWDER
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons oil (corn, canola but not olive, por favor) or you can melt some shortening or butter
Heat oven to 450°. Pour a cap (from the oil bottle) full or about 1/2 Tablespoon oil in each section, if you’re lucky enough to have a divided cornbread skillet. If you’re using a 10″ skillet, make that around 4 Tablespoons of oil. Once the oven is heated, put the skillet in the oven. While that heats:Flour, YELLOW cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt…funky pic huh? Clear mixing bowl makes you dizzy!
Mix the flour and cornmeal in to a large bowl along with salt, sugar, baking powder. Mix all wet ingredients in a large measuring cup or bowl and stir in the egg. Pour into the flour mixture and mix well with a large spoon, whisk or electric hand mixer until the batter is fairly smooth.
The batter should be somewhat smooth…like this?!
Mixing the cornbread should take you about 2 mins. or less. Your skillet should be hot and ready by the time you get the batter ready. CAREFULLY, with a hot pad/mitt, take the skillet out of the over and set on a hot pad. Pour the batter in. The sides and bottom of the skillet will sizzle as the oil is hot enough to start the cooking process right then!
Carefully, put the filled skillet back into the oven, close the door and set your timer for 15-20 mins. Personally, I like my cornbread good and browned. The skillet oil you poured the batter into will make the cornbread crunchy on the outside. Trust me, this IS a good thing!!! Have butter out and softened, and maybe some honey to go with. A skillet of hot cornbread is a meal in itself. Add a pot of red beans and meatloaf/meatballs….perfection!
Pass the butter!
Store leftovers in plastic bag in the fridge as it molds quickly. You can also freeze it. While we’re at it, this is an opportune time to throw in some flax-seed or maybe some oat bran or even wheat bran for extra fiber and nutrients. I sneak in this stuff all the time and nobody knows. My boys would’ve had a fit if they had known that when they were kids! But that’s another post. Later gater.