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Nov 18, 2008 07:59 AM

Cornbread recipes?

I haven't made cornbread before, but am going to be travelling thanksgiving morning, so need something that I can make the night before and take with me. I would prefer a simpler recipe cornbread - nothing with chiles, etc.

Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. You can't make it there? Cornbread isn't the greatest if it's cold and been sitting for a while. Fresh & hot is best. Reheating is acceptable but not desirable. Understand that you are just going to dry out an inherently dry bread by reheating it.

    You can combine all the wet ingredients and all the dry ingredients and then keep them in separate containers until you get there. Then throw the cast iron in the oven, mix up the batter and bake it.

    As a general guideline, I follow the Joy of Cooking cornbread recipe.

    3 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      What you say is true- but if someone showed uip at my house on Thanksgiving day and expected to use my oven, they would be out of luck. The oven wi9ll be full of two r

      1. re: macca

        That's why you ask ahead of time.

        The turkey will need to rest for a while and then be carved, so in my house, you would have ample time to cook a round of cornbread (that takes about 20-25 mins) even though there are other things in the oven at that time.

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          Good point about asking ahead of time. Could not happen in my house- as I am cooking a sit down meal for 25, and as the bird rests, I am heating up the dinner rolls, making the gravy and the last thing I do is mash the potatoes. I try to keep every one away from the stove - As the vegatable are ready, I pass the bowls to my helpers- we have three tables , so there are lots and lots of bowls to fill.

    2. I think I'd skip the cornbread and make something else like dinner rolls. Day old cornbread is good for making dressing or cornbread salad etc. But cornbread needs to be consumed hot out of the oven and fresh.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        I didn't realize that it would take only 20-25 mins.
        I am pretty sure I can do it there - just need a DELICIOUS recipe! :)

        1. re: KBChase

          Understand that cornbread is a highly variable thing. Some people add flour some add none; some people add sugar some add none, etc.

          My strong, strong, suggestion is that you make a pan of it tonight or tomorrow night or sometime before next Thursday and then see if you like the recipe. Nothing like cooking cornbread for your first time in someone's kitchen on Thanksgiving day after the turkey is out of the oven... and having NO idea what you're doing! My one other suggestion is using a recipe that calls for cooking it in a pre-heated cast iron pan and one that cooks at a high temp (400 to 450 range). Higher temps obviosly get the bread done faster. Cast iron because you get a nice crust, it's hefty, it looks nice coming out of the oven onto the table and the clean up is virtually non-existent. Your host will appreciate not having another dish to clean! Cornbread should release completely from the cast iron pan and all you will need to do for clean up is dump out the crumbs.

          1. re: KBChase

            Any general purpose cookbook will have a recipe (or more) for cornbread. Apart from the fact that there are two basic styles, there isn't a big difference in these recipes.

            One style is 'northern', with roughly equal parts flour and corn meal, and some sugar.

            The other is 'southern', with much more corn meal than flour, little or no sugar. This style is best made in a hot cast iron skillet, using bacon drippings. The hot skillet helps produce a crisp crust that adds an interesting texture. A finer grind is usually used with this type.

            The other variable is the type of cornmeal, and its grind. A good stone ground cornmeal will give better flavor than a more generic grocery store brand. Some rave about a mail order Anson Mills corn meal, though I have not tried that myself. There have been a number of corn bread threads.

            1. re: paulj

              Good point Paul.

              I usually cook the Southern variety but I do add a tablespoon or 2 of flour and some honey instead of sugar. The flour helps keep things a little less crumbly and the sugar adds some sweetness of course. As for the fat/oil, you can use anything from bacon grease, to butter, to lard, to any kind of fat or oil. I would suggest using a selection from one of the 3 listed though!

              Joy of Cooking has recipes for both styles.

        2. If you want something a little different but still simple, maybe try this cornmeal spoonbread instead. I think I like it better than regular cornbread.

          1 Reply
          1. re: anonymoose

            I agree, a spoon bread is a bit more feastive. It does take longer to bake. It is more of a pudding, that works as a side dish, as opposed to 'bread and butter' character of regular cornbread.

          2. Since no one has answered your question yet:

            1 3/4 cups cornmeal
            1/4 cup regular all purpose flour
            1/2 tsp. baking soda
            2 tsp. baking powder
            1 tsp. regular table salt
            2 tsp. regular white sugar
            1/4 cup Crisco or bacon fat (the bacon fat is "a consummation devoutly to be wished")
            2 whole large eggs (and I mean "large" in the sense of how they are graded on the carton of eggs)
            1 1/2 cups of buttermilk

            Mix all the ingredients with a power hand mixer or a manual beater for about 40 seconds (if by power mixer), using a slow setting. The mixture should be mixed completely but not frothy. Over mixing should be avoided. If you are in doubt, mix less, not more. Having some lumps in the mixture is perfectly normal and acceptable. They will disappear during the baking process.

            Pour the mixture into an 8"X8"X2" pan pregreased (with Crisco or bacon fat--preferably bacon fat--a food of the gods in my opinion). Place in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 25 minutes.

            Overcooking is more dangerous than undercooking. Even if it does not seem quite done at 25 minutes, I'd pull it out. The cornbread loses a lot of moisture as it cools and you want it to retain moisture. On the other hand, do not be tempted to cover the cornbread while it cools. The texture will be wrong if you do not let it cool uncovered.

            The key question in making the cornbread is whether you want to use a fine grained cornmeal or a more coarsley grained cornmeal. The former is more traditional and the type which I prefer, but the general public, I think, tends to prefer the less gritty, smoother tesxture of the finer cornmeal grinds. At least, I think people who don't eat a lot of cornbread normally, prefer it this way.

            I hope that this helps.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gfr1111

              I still prefer baking it in a pre-heated cast iron as opposed to a glass pyrex type dish. An 8 inch cast iron is the same as a 8x8 inch pyrex. Just a suggestion but think about clean-up!

              As a side note, I don't really agree that under baking is better than over baking. Who wants wet, gloppy cornbread? A little butter can help salvage a slightly over cooked corn bread.

            2. My standard cornbread recipe comes from King Arthur's website. It's a maple cornbread that isn't too sweet. The best part is that it can hold well until the next day (you can actually cut out pieces, and reheat them in the microwave and it will taste like it does when it comes out of the oven).