Southern Sweet Cornbread –

by

The staple of the South for many years was cornbread. The Southern wheat flours are not really very good for bread. They are super fine for pies and such. Therefore the South developed the tradition of cornbread. This is what I use when I am in the mood for cornbread. Kind of a variation of the way my mother made it. Actually, the very best cornbread I ever had was made by my best friend’s mother, but I have never been able to get the same results, even with her recipe. But this one works very nicely.

150 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (1 cup)
166 grams yellow cornmeal (1 cup) (Aunt Jemima or Perkerson’s yellow)
65 grams sugar (5 Tbs)
8 grams baking powder (2 tsp)
4 grams salt (1/2 tsp)
244 grams milk (1 cup)
65 grams bacon drippings (1/3 cup)
1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly grease an iron skillet with bacon grease.

Roughly mix everything up. Should have flour clumps about the size of BBs.

Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, the edges should be brown, the top golden, and a toothpick in the center should come out clean.

Serve hot with good butter. Dandy for soaking up pot likker.

I suppose that it is possible to do some substitutions to make a food nazi happy, but why bother. The flavor is the name of the game. Same with the pan. You could use a square or rectangular pan, but the purist uses an iron skillet.

Herself sez: Welllll, there is a slightly different recipe for every Southern cook!! Some people use self-rising corn meal mixes, others use white cornmeal. Some don’t add sugar, some add less sugar, some add more. Some add more shortening, some add less. Some will add “cracklins” to their cornbread. These are bits of crispy pork fat – not quite as crispy as the pork rinds you see in the grocery, but gently rendered to a slightly crispy texture. Some people use bits of “chittlins” – chicken intestines cleaned, chopped up and fried. I’m not as fond of the cornbread with cracklins or chittlins it.

The daughter-person and her husband like white cornmeal mix with little or no sugar added for making their cornbread. I prefer a sweeter, yellow cornbread, so the Ol’ Curmudgeon’s recipe suits me just fine!

If you insist on using a mix, Marie Callender’s Cornbread Mix makes my favorite flavor cornbread.

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