Quick Southern Cornbread, A Tasty Side for Busy Weeknights
Homemade cornbread is quick to pull together after a long day at work, but never fails to give a weekday meal that homey, satisfying taste of yesteryear.
Like many southerners, I have fond memories of my mother’s cornbread. When I was little, my mother would make her grandmother’s cornbread fairly regularly — especially during the cooler months.
As I grew older, cornbread was on the menu at every barbecue party and church bull roast. Like most folks, I love a good barbecue. A warm piece of buttery southern cornbread alongside a plate of ribs is like icing on a cake. It’s a match made in heaven.
If you didn’t grow up in Dixie, you may well wonder why I call this recipe “southern cornbread”. Well, northerners tend to enjoy their corn bread with a healthy dose of sugar. For southerners on the other hand, corn bread is savory, not sweet, and always benefits from the tangy flavor of buttermilk. In addition, our cornbreads tend to be lighter and less dense than the northern varieties.
In this recipe, I use butter. Most old-fashioned southern cooks would use bacon fat — which I love to save in the fridge for breads and pastries — or lard. Whether made with butter, bacon fat, or lard, this bread is guaranteed to disappear before you can count to ten!
This bread comes together in just 35 minutes, but will quickly become a family favorite. Whether with a barbecue or a bowl of greens, a slice of Southern Cornbread is always delicious.
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 c cake flour
1 c cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1 1/2 c buttermilk
4 Tbsps unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 220° C.
Place 2 Tbsp canola oil in a 20 cm square baking pan, and rotate (or brush) to oil sides as well as bottom. Place pan in the oven while preheating. Be careful not to leave the pan in the oven until it smokes, but he pan and the oil must get very hot to ensure a crisp crust.
In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and melted butter.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir quickly to combine. Do not over beat. The ingredients should be well-blended. However, too much stirring will result in a tough — rather than feather-light — cornbread. The batter will be relatively thick.
Set batter aside until oven and baking pan are hot. Then, remove baking pan from oven and pour batter into the pan.
Return to preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cornbread is crispy and golden and pulls away slightly from the edges of the pan.
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