Southern Cornbread: A Comforting Classic for All Occasions
Cornbread holds a special place in the hearts and kitchens of the American South. This beloved staple is a versatile and comforting addition to any meal. In this blog, we’ll walk you through a classic Southern Cornbread recipe and share tips, tricks, variations, what to serve it with, and storage tips to ensure your cornbread turns out perfectly every time.
The Classic Southern Cornbread Recipe:
- 1 cup Cornmeal (yellow, not self-rising)
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Oil (or non-stick cooking spray if using a skillet)
- ½ cup Milk (whole milk, can use 2%)
- ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
- Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). If you’re using a cast-iron skillet, place it in the oven to preheat as well. For Pyrex dishes, no preheating is needed.
- Prepare Dry Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Prepare Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, beat the egg and then add buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of oil, and milk. Mix until well combined.
- Add Baking Soda: In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the baking soda in a little warm water. Add it to the wet ingredients mixture and stir to combine.
- Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures: Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; a few lumps are okay.
6. Grease the Skillet: If you’re using a preheated cast-iron skillet, carefully remove it from the oven and grease it with a little oil or use non-stick cooking spray. Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet. For Pyrex dishes, simply pour the batter into the dish.
7. Baking: Place the skillet or Pyrex dish in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Cool and Serve: Once done, remove the cornbread from the oven using oven mitts, and let it cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve while warm.
Tips and Tricks:
- Use Yellow Cornmeal: Yellow cornmeal is traditional for Southern cornbread, but you can experiment with white cornmeal if you prefer a milder flavor.
- Don’t Overmix: Be gentle when combining wet and dry ingredients to avoid overmixing, which can result in a dense texture.
- Preheat the Skillet: If you have a cast-iron skillet, preheating it in the oven will give your cornbread a crispier crust.
- Cheesy Cornbread: Add grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese to the batter for a savory twist.
- Jalapeño Cornbread: Mix in chopped jalapeños for a spicy kick.
- Honey Butter Cornbread: Drizzle warm honey butter over the top of your cornbread for a sweet and savory combination.
What to Serve with Southern Cornbread:
Southern cornbread pairs wonderfully with various dishes:
- Chili: The sweetness of cornbread complements the spiciness of chili.
- Barbecue: Serve it with pulled pork or ribs for an authentic Southern feast.
- Greens: Enjoy a slice alongside collard greens or other Southern-style vegetables.
- Soups and Stews: Cornbread is an excellent sidekick to hearty soups and stews.
- Room Temperature: Store cornbread at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two days.
- Refrigerator: For longer freshness, keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Freezer: Wrap slices in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months. Thaw and reheat as needed.
Southern cornbread is more than just a side dish; it’s a taste of tradition and comfort. With our classic recipe and tips, you can easily recreate this Southern favorite in your own kitchen. Experiment with variations, serve it with your favorite dishes, and enjoy the warm, comforting flavors of the South. So, preheat your oven, get your ingredients ready, and savor a slice of Southern hospitality today.
Southern Cornbread Recipe
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190°C). While the oven is preheating, place a 9-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to preheat as well if you’re using one. If you’re using a Pyrex dish, there’s no need to preheat it.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix these dry ingredients together until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then add the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of oil, and the milk. Mix these wet ingredients until they are well combined.
4. In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the baking soda in a little bit of warm water, and then add it to the wet ingredients mixture. Stir to combine.
5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; a few lumps are okay.
6. If you’re using a preheated cast-iron skillet, carefully remove it from the oven (remember to use oven mitts), and either grease it with a little oil or use non-stick cooking spray. Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet. If you’re using a Pyrex dish, simply pour the batter into the dish.
7. Place the skillet or Pyrex dish in the preheated oven.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
9. Once done, remove the cornbread from the oven using oven mitts, and let it cool for a few minutes.
10. Slice and serve your Southern Cornbread while it’s still warm. It’s perfect as a side dish for soups, stews, or as a tasty snack on its own. Enjoy!
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