Southern Corn Bread
This Southern Corn Bread is the one that Joy of Cooking recommends for their Corn Bread Stuffing. It is so easy to make, and so good!
Joy of Cooking recommends using bacon fat, lard, oil, or vegetable shortening. I used bacon fat (fantastic!), but if I hadn’t had any I would have used butter.
The recipe recommends a 9-inch oven-proof skillet or an 8-inch square pan. I used my 10-inch cast iron skillet which worked fine, but probably shortened the baking time just a bit.
The only fat in the recipe is the tablespoon of bacon fat, but the corn bread had such a rich flavor that I found it unnecessary to use any butter. We loved it!
I will definitely be making Southern Corn Bread again. And I may make Corn Bread Stuffing sometime soon, too. With sausage, of course.
Southern Corn Bread
(Adapted from a recipe in Joy of Cooking)
Makes one 9- or 10-inch round or 8-inch square bread, or 12 muffins
Use a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet or an 8-inch square metal cake pan. I would not preheat a glass pan at such a high temperature.
1 tablespoon bacon fat, lard, oil, or butter
1¾ cups cornmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill medium grind cornmeal.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 450˚. Put the bacon fat in the skillet and put it in the oven to get hot while you mix the corn bread. (If using butter, don’t put it in the pan yet because it will burn. Just heat the dry pan.)
2. Whisk the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
3. In another bowl whisk the eggs until they are foamy and then whisk in the buttermilk until well-combined.
4. When the skillet is sizzling hot, add the eggs and buttermilk to the dry ingredients and mix just until it’s all blended. (If using butter, add it to the skillet to melt now, just before you mix the wet and dry ingredients together.)
5. Take the hot skillet out of the oven and tilt it to evenly distribute the bacon fat. Pour in the corn bread batter and put back in the oven.
6. For a 10-inch skillet, baking time is 18 – 20 minutes. For a 9-inch skillet or 8-inch pan it will be 20 – 25 minutes. (Muffins 15 – 18 minutes.)
7. Serve immediately with butter and honey, if desired.
Leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a low oven.