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Mar 5, 2007 01:53 PM

cornbread, what's your recipe?

I made some last night to go with our chili and my dinner guests were commenting on how they had never eaten cornbread with actual kernels of corn in it. I call it my corny cornbread and it's a variation on my recipe. Sometimes I'll add jalapenos or bell peppers, or roasted garlic, it just depends on my mood and the audience.

Also, do you use all corn meal or half corn meal, half flour? I've found recipes with both. I think the half flour makes it cakier and less chewy.

My favorite trick so far is to make it in a cast iron skillet so that it's crispy all the way around, not just on top.

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  1. What is the traditional southern cornbread? What are the differences between northern and southern cornbread? Having grown up in the midwest in a household that did not eat cornbread I'm curious. I love cornbread.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nissenpa

      In my experience, southern cornbread is not sweetened while northern is. At least it doesn't taste sweet. I know surprising considering how much we love our sweet tea!
      I grew up in southeast Georgia and have lived in Indiana from around Indy to north of Fort Wayne for the past 9 years and that's the only difference I've noticed.

      1. re: alliedawn_98

        My mother and my aunt--both north Alabama farm girls transplanted to California--didn't stop arguing that point until they both passed on in their eighties. My mother put a little sugar in her cornbread, but my aunt would always sniff "That's not cornBREAD, that's corn CAKE!"

        I am my mother's daughter--I like mine slightly sweet. This is my favorite recipe that I've found--only I'll substitute bacon grease or lard when I have it for the butter in the pan.


        (Notice that they call this one "Real Southern Cornbread," but it does have sugar. Just like my Alabama cracker great-great-grandfather who fought for the Union, those southerners resist generalizations!)

      2. re: nissenpa

        alliedawn is correct. there is nothing sweet about southern cornbread. But everything else is riddled with either lard, butter or sugar.

      3. I've been making cornbread since I was a kid,my favorite recipe is:
        1 c flour
        1 c yellow cornmeal
        1 T.baking powder
        1 t. salt
        1/2 c sugar(1/4 c if sweet cornbread is not to your taste)
        2 eggs
        1 c milk
        1/2 c melted margarine,butter oil or shortening
        Heat oven to 400 deg.Using a cast iron skillet heat margarine,butter,oil or shorteing till hot.Mix dry ingredients together.Add eggs and milk.Quickly stir in hot margarine(or whatever fat you used)Bake in hot oven 20-25 mins till golden brown.
        For variations reduce sugar to 2 T-1/4c sugar add cheese,jalapenos,fresh,frozen or canned corn,crumbled cooked bacon,pimientoes or whatever you like.

        1. The recipe on the White Lily Corn Meal mix is as close to my grandmother's as any I've made (she was a Virginian).
          2 cups mix,
          1 large egg, beaten
          1 or 2 T sugar
          about 1 1/2+ cup buttermilk (whole) ( skim (butter)milk takes less to moisten the mixture)
          and a T or two of oil, heated in the skillet in the oven, then added to the mix and poured back in the skillet.
          Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes.

          (The buttermilk makes a major difference in texture and moistness of the bread. The preheated skillet is the second 'secret')

          1. Sweet Cornbread
            ½ cup butter (1 stick)
            1 cup sugar
            2 eggs
            1 cup yellow cornmeal
            1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
            2 tsp. Baking powder
            ½ tsp. Salt
            1 cup milk
            ½ cup steamed sweet corn (off the cob)

            In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs; beating well. Then add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and heat oven to 375 degrees. Fold the steamed sweet corn into the batter and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

            1. My mother's southern cornbread (not sweet):

              Heat oven to 450 degrees.
              Put two tablespoons oil into cast iron skillet and put into oven to heat.
              In the meantime, mix: 1 cup cornmeal (self-rising, White Lilly is best), 3/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon mayonaisse (helps make it light and fluffy), 1 egg. Mix should be slightly lumpy, and do not over mix.

              Pour heated oil into mixture, then put into heated cast iron skillet.

              Depending on the size of the skillet, bake 15-30 minutes, or until edges and top are brown.