Southern Style Cornbread

"Purists will recoil in horror because as my Texan friend told me “no self respecting Southern woman would ever put sugar in her cornbread recipe” but even she admitted this is good and could not believe there was sugar in it. This bread is thin and crusty yet still tender and moist. It’s nice and savory, not sweet like Northern corn breads which tend to taste like cake. This is from Cook's Illustrated."
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Ready In:




  • Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set 8-inch cast-iron skillet with bacon fat (or vegetable oil) in heating oven.
  • Measure 1/3 cup cornmeal into medium bowl. Mix remaining cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in small bowl; set aside.
  • Pour boiling water all at once into the 1/3 cup cornmeal; stir to make a stiff mush. Whisk in buttermilk gradually, breaking up lumps until smooth, then whisk in egg. When oven is preheated and skillet very hot, stir dry ingredients into mush mixture until just moistened. Carefully remove skillet from oven. Pour hot bacon fat (or melted butter) from the skillet into the batter and stir to incorporate, then quickly pour batter into heated skillet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and instantly turn cornbread onto wire rack; cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.
  • Note: Though it is preferable to make cornbread in a preheated cast-iron skillet, a 9-inch round cake pan or 9-inch square baking pan, greased lightly with butter and not preheated, will also produce acceptable results if you double the recipe and bake the bread for 25 minutes.

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  1. This is by far the best cornbread recipe I've ever had. I am a southern gal and don't care for flour or sugar in it. I used my uncle's recipe for years. I saw this recipe on Cooks Illustrated over Memorial Day weekend along with Bread and butter pickles w/o canning them. I decided to give it a whirl and sorry to say uncle, I've switched. The pickles were awesome too.



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