Old Fashioned Cornbread - my best and most basic recipe for old fashioned cornbread. Serve it with everything from fried chicken to chili.
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.
So Many Kinds of Cornbread!
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.
I have lots of cornbread recipes and I've put those links at the end of this post for you, but this one is my standard and a great one to add to your recipe collection.
The Secret's in the Cornmeal
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.
My favorite brand? Well, it's Arnett's hands down.
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.
One further 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. If I wanted something sweet, I'd make a cake. Cornbread is not cake. Sorry if you're a sugary cornbread lovin' kind of person.
How to Make Old Fashioned Cornbread
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you'll find the recipe card.
Prepare the Skillet
Add 3 tablespoons canola oil to a 12-inch iron skillet (or for a lighter recipe, coat generously with cooking spray). Place the skillet in the oven, set the oven to 400 degrees and preheat both the skillet and the oven while you mix up the cornbread. A cast iron skillet really is essential to making great cornbread.
Mix the Dry Ingredients
Combine the dry ingredients of cornmeal, flour, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.
Mix and Add the Wet Ingredients
Combine the wet ingredients of oil, eggs (for a lighter recipe use ½ cup eggbeaters), and buttermilk (for a lighter recipe substitute skim or lowfat milk) and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix well. I use a whisk just to make sure I get all the lumps out.
Add the Batter to the Skillet
Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Can you see in the picture on the right how the cornbread has already started to cook around the edges just seconds after being poured into the pan? That's just what you want it to do.
Bake the Cornbread
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the top and edges are light golden brown.
Remove from the skillet from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Have you ever seen one of these silicone 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. 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 it!
You May Also Like ...
- Cheesy Chili Cornbread
- Sour Cream and Onion Cornbread
- Easy Hot Water Cornbread
- Lacy Cornbread
- Turkey and Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Turnip Greens and Corn Pone
- Pimiento Cheese Corn Sticks
- Cornmeal Scallion Fritters
- Corn Dodgers
- Chili-Cheese Corn Muffins
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Old Fashioned Cornbread
- 1 ½ cups fine ground white cornmeal
- ½ cup flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons canola oil (or substitute cooking spray for the 3 additional tablespoons oil)
- 2 large eggs or substitute ½ cup Eggbeaters
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk or substitute skim or lowfat milk
- Add 3 tablespoons oil to a 12-inch iron skillet (or generously coat with cooking spray)
- Place the skillet in the oven and set to 400 degrees to preheat both skillet and oven
- Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl
- Combine the remaining ¼ cup oil, eggs, and buttermilk
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk to combine and remove any lumps
- Pour into hot skillet
- Bake approximately 25-30 minutes or until golden brown
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.