Friday, May 7, 2010

Real Southern Cornbread


• 2 cups cornmeal
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons baking powder
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup margarine, melted
• 4 cups buttermilk
• 1/4 cup corn oil


1. In a large bowl mix together the corn meal, flour, salt, and baking powder.

2. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, butter, and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until well blended.

3. Heat a dry 12 inch cast iron skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Add corn oil to skillet, swirl oil around to coat bottom and sides. Leave remaining oil in pan. Return to high heat for 1 minute.

4. Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet and cook on high heat until bubbles start to form in the center. Remove from stove.

5. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F (200 degree C) oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm.
**Half the recipe bakes beautifully in a 10" skillet. I confess I did add 2 tablespoons of sugar to half the recipe (my personal preference), substituted unsalted butter for the margarine, and doubled the salt. Also important to stir wet ingredients into dry only until moistened. A somewhat lumpy consistency is okay. Don't overmix if you want the bread to be tender.

A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is a must for this recipe. Preheat as directed and use a generous amount of oil to prevent sticking -- enough to have a slight puddle in the bottom before the batter is poured in. Also helps to sprinkle some cornmeal over the oil. The batter should sizzle and sort of "fry" when poured in. This recipe is very moist, tender, and flavorful.

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