Last week, I kicked off what I liked to think of as a “cornbread throw down” between what I see as two predominant factions in the US: the North and the South. What one classifies as and prefers in cornbread, tends to vary according to those particular regions and tendencies.
Cornbread in the North tends to be on the sweet side. The inner texture is moist, almost cakey, and it also tends to be baked in muffin or muffin top form, which is also how I made it in last week’s post.
Cornbread ‘tings in the South tend to be done very differently.
The most notable difference in Southern style cornbread from Northern style is in the texture. It tends to have a lot more cornmeal in the batter, and as such, it’s much more coarse and almost always has come kind of crusty exterior. Sweetness is also a BIG no-no in Southern cornbread, and it tends to be much more on the salty/savory side.
My grandmother is from Mississippi, and for just about every single meal we ate at home, there was a pan of fresh-baked Southern style cornbread on the table. To this day, that cornbread is one of my all-time favorite things to eat. You guys, it’s so, so, SOOO good.
My grandma has made this cornbread so often that she doesn’t need a recipe for it anymore. She literally just throws all the ingredients together, and it somehow manages to still come out delicious, every single time. I’m not that talented a cook, but I am fortunate enough to have received the recipe from her, and the permission to share it here with all of you.
I’ve written the recipe to fit a standard 8-9 inch square pan, but you should know that every time I make this cornbread, I have to make a double batch–that’s how fast we go through it. I’ve made it alongside collard greens, and it was delicious and filling enough to eat as a meal in and of itself.
Having said that, you all can probably guess which ‘side’ of the cornbread throw down I tend to fall on. I’ve had some really tasty Northern style cornbreads; my grandmother’s beats every single one of them, hands down.
My Grandma's Cornbread
Recipe Courtesy of Jess@CookingisMySport
- 2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 large egg, beaten well
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. liquid bacon grease/drippings
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2–2 cups of Milk*
Preheat oven to 400°. Spray an 8 or 9-inch round or square cake pan (or a cast iron skillet) with cooking spray.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, stirring together with a fork.
Combine the egg with the melted butter and bacon drippings in a small bowl.
Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the egg-butter mixture. Pour the milk in, and stir briskly with a fork until batter is smooth. Note: the amount of milk I have to add varies according to time of year. Start with the smaller amount, then add more as needed. As a rule of thumb, The batter should not be clumpy, or stiff enough to not spread on its own once it is poured. A perfect medium is between a regular cake batter and runny crepe batter.
Pour into the cake pan.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
Sharing at Fiesta Friday #467.