Old Fashioned Cornbread

There are probably as many recipes for cornbread as there are southern cooks. Although it’s not strictly a “southern thing,” cornbread is very widely served throughout the south. It’s so very good with a plate of southern-style vegetables like peas, fried okra, and greens.

And, there are many different kinds of cornbread. There is the old fashioned cornbread like I’m going to show you here. Then there is corn pone which is basically just cornmeal, water and salt formed into “pones” like thick little pancakes and cooked in the oven. There are corn sticks and corn muffins as well. And don’t forget about hush puppies! They are essentially cornbread, too. Actually, my favorite is what we call “lacy cornbread.” Lacy cornbread is cooked in a skillet on the stovetop. It’s a very thin, light batter that is poured into hot oil and fried quickly to a golden brown. It takes skill and practice to make lacy cornbread.

Then there is the matter of the cornmeal itself. Grocery stores throughout the deep south have lots of different cornmeal products on the shelves. But the most important for making good cornbread is fine ground, white cornmeal.

cornbread_cornmeal

Now, I have no association whatsoever with Arnett’s. They have absolutely no idea who I am. I just happen to like their cornmeal. A couple of other good brands are Hoover’s and Sholar’s. It’s easy to find it in the rural areas, but here in North Georgia near Atlanta I can’t get it anywhere! That’s okay, I just stock up when I make a trip down to the southern part of the state.

Someday I’ll do my recipe for lacy cornbread, but for now this standard old-fashioned type will be more than adequate. If you want to make a pan of  this somewhat lightened up cornbread for yourself or your family, then here’s what you need:

1 ½ cups fine ground, white corn meal
½ cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup Eggbeaters (or two whole eggs)
1 ½  tsp salt
1 ½ cups skim or lowfat milk or buttermilk

One other note. You will notice that there is no sugar in this recipe. In my opinion, there is no place for sugar in cornbread. Cornbread is a rustic, savory bread and sugar just doesn’t belong in there. Sorry if you’re a sugary cornbread lovin’ kind of person.

cornbread_spraypan

Spray a 12-inch iron skillet well with cooking spray. Preheat the skillet along with the oven to 400 degrees.

cornbread_dry_ings

Combine the cornmeal, flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.

cornbread_wet_ings

Combine the oil, eggs or eggbeaters and milk and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix well. I use a whisk just to make sure I get all the lumps well incorporated.

cornbread_pourinpan

Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Can you see in the picture on the right how the cornbread has already started to cook just seconds after being poured into the pan? That’s just what you want it to do.

Bake approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown.

cornbread_pothandle

Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Have you ever seen one of these silicon pot handle thingys? I call it my skillet grabber. It’s a wonderful thing and was given to me by one of my very best friends a few years ago. I had never heard of it before, but let me tell you something. It makes it so easy to get that hot iron skillet out of the oven. You just slip it over the handle and pull it right out. If you don’t have one, please treat yourself to one soon. You’re gonna love that thing!

Enjoy!

Old Fashioned Cornbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A great, basic recipe for good old fashioned cornbread!
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups fine ground, white corn meal
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Eggbeaters (or two whole eggs)
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups skim or lowfat milk or buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Spray a 12-inch iron skillet well with cooking spray. Preheat the skillet and oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into hot skillet. Bake approximately 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Notes
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Comments

  1. says

    Your recipe looks really good, I always start on the stovetop and finish in the oven, but i want to try it this way next time. I heard those “silly northerners” eat sweet cornbread, or maybe thats the north part of the south, don’t know for sure, i know I have in-laws from Detroit that transplanted there from the south a long time ago that like it sweet. Great post.

  2. says

    I’m a big corn bread fan! This looks wonderful. I lent out my cast iron pan, [dumb move] and can’t wait to get it back so I can make some REAL corn bread! I like to add some minced jalapenos for a little extra zing.

  3. Neena says

    Looks great. This is what my grandmother used to call “egg bread”. I can remember her serving this with fresh vegatables in the summer. With fresh butter it was another side dish to be enjoyed. She also made the crisp pone bread in the oven that you mentioned. Brings back memories.
    NeeNa

  4. says

    You should try finding Arnett’s cornmeal in Michigan!! Like you, I brought several bags with me when we came up. They are long gone. There is no substitute for Arnett’s in my book.

    • says

      I would imagine all you can get up there is Quaker or some coarse yellow meal like that. Actually, I like Adams’ the best but can only get it when I go down to Mama’s house. Need to get some next time I’m down there!

  5. Amy says

    Just found your blog, and I love it!

    Having said that, I respectfully disagree. Real Southern cornbread never c0ntains wheat flour, and it never contains sweeteners like sugar (which thankfully yours does not).

    This lacy stuff is NOT cornbread but appears to be something akin to cake. My maternal grandmother made a similar bread (YUK!), and she lived in Columbus, Georgia. Must be a GA thing.

    Down in Baton Rouge our cornbread was thick, dense, dark yellow, moist, with a crunchy crust. It tasted like a freshly-buttered ear of fresh hot corn!!! Nothing else goes better with red beans and rice.

    While I do recognize variations in recipes, the no-sweetener, no-wheat-flour thing is a steadfast rule. Any recipe containing either has been corrupted and is NOT true Southern cornbread. By all means, Google this if you don’t believe it. Further buttressing my point is the fact that YANKEE recipes contain wheat flour, sweetener, and sometimes both.

    Having said that, I look forward to checking out other recipes on your blog.

    Bon appetit!

  6. judy daniels says

    i am going home to see my father who lives in phoenix city,ala. 1 mile from columbus, ga. where can i buy hoovers corn meal there? pls advise judy

    • says

      I’m not from the Columbus area, so I’m sorry that I can’t give you a specific location to purchase Hoover’s cornmeal in that area. However, I would check with any of the grocery stores around there, especially a southern-based chain like IGA or Piggly Wiggly. If they don’t have Hoover’s specifically, they should have a regional brand. Some other good ones are Arnett’s and Sholar’s.

      Best wishes and a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Bryan says

      Hoovers corn meal is produced in Bonifay Florida. You can contact them directly to find an outlet in your area..it is regional thing though

  7. Keith says

    I grew up in Ga. eating Arnetts cornbread. Except we always made it just mixing water with it. In a small cast iron pan. W/ a little grease floating around. Pour the mixture. Runny, but not to thin. Don’t overfill. You need to leave a little around the edges for it to fry up. Kinda like a dolly. Fry it up crispy and turn it over. It is great dipped in Frech Dressing! I cannot find it now. That is why I was looking on the internet for Arnetts.

  8. Martha says

    Amy said it well in 2009. Sugared, floured cornbread is not
    authentically southern.. I grew up in mid AL and it was made the same everywhere..Grease the black skillet with bacon grease and put in oven
    to get hot. Pour buttermilk batter into hot pan. It would slide out
    whole after cooking.
    I realize we are trying to eat healthier nowadays, but nothing beats the real thing.

  9. Kay Blanks says

    I love recipes and enjoyed reading through yours. My Mama is gone and I miss her still everyday~it has been almost 11 years. This was her time of year. Famous for her dressing and cornbread makings, I so remember all the chopped onions, celery on the kitchen table performed by step-dad while Mama got her big black skillet together with water and she would saute the chopped veggies until soft. She did not want to bite into the dressing and crunch down on a crispy vegetable. It was always a big production because she made a lot, I can still smell the wonderful aromas in my memory. She would make cornbread earlier in her iron skillets and a long cake pan full. Mama use to always take the big turkey put it in a big pot and boil it to make her broth, then when done and cool she would tear pieces and place it on top of the dressing. Her giblet gravy was awesome and she always had lots of tasty stock to use left over in the turkey pot. Mama didn’t like baked turkey she felt it was too dry for her tastes and this is was her preferred way. Many Sundays during the year she would make chicken n dressing, the same way. Nobody could out cook Mama for turkey n dressing, chicken n dressing, or a juicy pot of red beans cooked only by adding boiled water each time needed during the cooking process with the lid a little tilted off the side of the pot. She learned to cook from her southern gentleman daddy, an east Texas farmer and loving father. Her mom died when she was nine and Papa took over the rearing of the kids and worked the fields. They grew their food and raised their hogs, so they liked lots of pork. I am glad I used to listen when she would tell me all the stories. She had a wonderfully close family, 5 girls and one younger brother, they are all gone, but they all left a wonderful legacy for all of us children, brothers, sister, cousins. Happy Holidays one and all~ From Deep in the Heart of Texas~

  10. Rachel says

    Anybody know where I can buy Hoover’s Corn Mill? No luck at Williams Family Farm, they post it’s no longer available through them.
    My dear aunt (85 yrs old) has asked me to find some for her. It’s her favorite. Any suggestions? Thank you,

  11. Karen Hales says

    I made this cornbread for the first time New Years. It was some of the best I have ever had. I used Hoovers fine white corn meal instead of the Arnett brand. I am from North west FL and it is a staple in most homes. I melted a quarter stick of butter in my cast Iron skillet and added the corn meal mix it browned beautifully and was moist and delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I just wish I could pin the recipe to my Pinterest.

  12. Stella says

    You are one hundred percent right on this, Lana – No Sugar. I once read that adding sugar was the Yankee way of making cornbread. Sorry, y’all.

    • says

      I don’t care for sweet cornbread, but that’s just my taste. Some people do. I say everybody should fix it whatever way they like best! I’ll be leaving the sugar out of mine :-)

  13. Laura says

    Hi Lana,
    Just came across your website – and like it. I live in Chipley, FL (panhandle) and we can drive a short piece down the road and buy as much Hoovers cornmeal as one could stuff in their car. It is awesome cornmeal and they also have the best hush puppy mix as well (add some salt, a little water, and chopped onion; mix well and then spoon into hot peanut oil and fry until golden brown – crispy on outside but still moist and light on the inside). Delicious! If the ladies above are still looking for Hoovers, they could try calling the Piggly Wiggly in Chipley, FL (phone: 850-638-1751) and ask to speak with Lyle Young (owner). He sells Hoovers in his store; perhaps he could ship some to them.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all and may God bless you!

  14. lanaann says

    I know that sweet cornbread is pretty common outside of the south, but just my opinion is that it’s supposed to be “savory.” When it gets too sweet it starts moving toward the dessert side of the spectrum :-)

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