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Cornbread Southern Style

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BBWCHATT | 17:59 Tue 11th Sep 2007 | Recipes
15 Answers
Here in the Southern US - real Southern cooks don't really use a recipe to make cornbread. Some put a little sugar in it and some put an egg or two in it - but they all use a screaming hot cast iron skillet/pan and cook it in about 1/8" or more of oil or shortening or even bacon grease in the skillet. The batter should sizzle when you start pouring it in the skillet.

Cornmeal mix just already has some self-rising flour added to it for convenience.

Southern Cornbread

2 cups White Lily Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted shortening
1 egg
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

Preheat a well greased 8- or 10-inch heavy cast iron skillet in 425 degree oven. Or, grease an 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Blend all ingredients stirring just until moistened. (Batter should be lumpy). Overmixing will result in a cornbread that is peaked and smooth on top and will have a tough, heavy texture. Pour batter into preheated (screaming hot) cast iron skillet or pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for 10-inch skillet or 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch skillet or pan. Remove from pan and serve.

Makes 8 servings.


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Question Author
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal, or from a mix (recommended: Aunt Jemima's)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
Oil, butter, or clarified margarine, for frying

Mix well all ingredients, except for the frying oil. Heat the frying oil or butter in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter, by full tablespoons, into the hot skillet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula, and then brown the other side. With a slotted spoon, remove each hoecake to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Question Author
Lace Hoecake Cornbread
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

2 cups plain enriched white cornmeal, sifted
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

Mix together the cornmeal, water, and salt, and allow mixture to sit for a few minutes. Spray a flat hoe skillet with a non-stick cooking spray and drizzle with oil, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons. Heat skillet over medium heat. Pour about 3 (2-ounce) ladles full of the batter on the skillet. The batter will sizzle and have a lacy appearance. If the batter gets too thick add a bit of water. When the edges are slightly brown, place a wet glass plate over the hoecake. With a dishcloth, grab the handle of the pan, flip the pan and hoecake onto the plate. Slide the hoecake off the plate back in the pan to cook the other side, and cook until golden brown. Stir the batter and add oil to the pan before making your next hoecake.
Of course, BBWCHATT remains a lady after my own heart. We do use sugar in ours because we use only yellow corn meal (ya'll call it polenta, I think) with little or no white flour. The sugar helps the top to brown nicely. We also use a little, maybe 1 teaspoon, of baking powder to give it just a little rise. But as the Lady from Tennessee says... gotta have a thoroughly aged cast iron skillet..(ours is nearly one hundred years old). We turn the oven on before mixing the bread (350 degrees F) and put the skillet in, letting it get, as BBW states screaming hot (I like the word picture that causes). This will give a nice deep brown crust on the bottom. Served with a big pot of smoked ham hocks and navy beans with fresh sliced garden onions on the side and the Racoon Brand sweet molasses opened and waiting near the fresh, sweet creamery butter... I think I've made myself hungry!
Hi there BBW. I've tracked down this post from the fried bread post!
I went to the shops this morning but I've never seen buttermilk or cornmeal in the shops here. Clanad recommends polenta in place of cornmeal - will ordinary milk do instead of buttermilk? Also, could you explain what shortening is.
Many thanks. xx
Question Author
Hi Mrs. Overall - I never use buttermilk in mine - I use a combination of approximately half water and half whole milk. I never use sugar or eggs in mine - that is all to my taste - you will, of course, adjust it to the way you like it after a while. I started out using all milk, but I didn't like the texture as much as when I used part water.

I just put about an eighth of an inch of Crisco oil in the bottom of the cast iron skillet and put it in the pre-heated oven. Put some corn meal in a bowl - add some milk and water and Crisco oil to it - mix it just enough to get it all wet - it is about the same thickness as a cake mix when you first get it mixed up (before you beat it with the mixer). As soon as the skillet with oil gets screaming hot, I pour in the mixture (it should sizzle when you pour it in) - and close the oven door quickly. When it is done thru and golden brown on the top I take it out and cut it into pie shaped wedges. Serve with soup, stew, homemade beans - or just with a meal of any kind - it is very versatile. I don't enjoy it, but a lot of people love to take a piping hot piece and slather it with butter and eat it right then.

This is supposed to be a way to make a substitute for buttermilk if you don't have any real buttermilk. I have heard it all my life, but I have never tried it:

Mix 1 cup of milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice and let sit for 10 minute - stir again.

Shortening is kind of a solidified vegetable oil - I never use it, I only use oil, olive oil, butter and margarine. I just read this:
In Ireland and the UK Cookeen is a popular brand.

Please let me know how you like it.

The old lady in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
I won't have chance to try it before the weekend but I will let you know.
Many thanks.
Question Author
Polenta isn't ground as finely as cornmeal. Some people prefer white cornmeal and some prefer yellow cornmeal. I prefer white myself.

Steel ground yellow cornmeal, common mostly in the United States, has the husk and germ of the maize kernel almost completely removed. It is conserved almost indefinitely if stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

Stone ground cornmeal retains some of the hull and germ, lending a little more flavor and nutrition to recipes. It is more perishable, but will store longer if refrigerated.

White cornmeal (mealie meal) is more traditional in Africa. It is also popular in the Southern United States for making cornbread. al&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2

Pictures of cornbread: &hl=en&q=Southern+cornbread&btnG=Search+Images

It's probably available in the shops here in large towns/cities but I live in the sticks (boonies?) and have trouble buying anything out of the ordinary.
Question Author
These are two of the brands of cornmeal and flour that I buy. Cornmeal and flour are super cheap here no matter what brand you buy - I always buy white self-rising cornmeal - a five pound paper bag of either one costs less than two dollars: .cfm?prod_id=868&cat_id=63

My Grandmother used white cornmeal in making cracklin' cornbread at butchering time in southern Missouri, BBWCHATT, but I can't remember as a child, what color the actual cornbread turned out to be. I just remember getting sick on so many good cracklin's. How does your's turn out color-wise? (Never have figured out how she baked so many good things in a wood/coal range with an oven no bigger than a shoebox).
Hi all......For mrs_overall: Crisco is a bit like Stork margerine inthe tubs, and you can always use Flora. I made cornbread the other day and used polenta though I have bought corn or maizemeal in healthfood and ethnic food shops. To approximate buttermilk you can add a bit of lemon juice to milk and let it stand for 10min or so before you use it.
PASTA FREAK:- thank u, u said you would put a recipe up for me!! CHEERS!! x
Did you find it , taliesin?....let us know how you get on :-)
Question Author
Clanad - Mine turns out white on the inside - because I don't use eggs in mine - it might be a little different if your Grandmother used eggs from the farm in hers though - it could have made hers a little more yellow. I have never made the cracklin kind - but I remember being served it at someone else's house once as a child and that it was wonderful!!! I have no idea where you would get them today - not at my supermarket I don't think.

I don't know that I will ever get around to trying it - living alone I don't cook a lot now - but I kept your fry bread secret on my computer. I had always heard about Indian fry bread and thought it sounded good - glad you knew the shortcut!!!

I hope you and Mrs. Clanad are healthy and happy.

The old lady in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Since this is your thread, BBW, perhaps i'm not truly hijacking it...

Thanks for the sentiments... I've always enjoyed your recipes!
I hope you're enjoying your fall weather as much as we are here. The garden is laying by... needs alittle more cleaning up and were waiting for the first hard frost to harvest the winter squash (mainly acorns). Suddenly I have had several zucchini, yellow summer squash, onions and tomatoes appear. This makes for great Ratatouille, which we freeze for later when the snow is blowing by the windows. I've never had good luck raising eggplant so we have to buy those.

I don't think one can buy true cracklin's (I'm sure there's supposed to be a "g" in there, but never heard it pronounced that way in the Ozarks)... some people will tell you the packaged fried pig skins are the same, but of course, they aren't.
It was my job to keep the low fire going under the 30 gallon cast iron rendering pot to melt the trimmed pig fat for canning as lard, as a child. What was left in the bottom was pure, crisp fat. Grandmother said "... honey chile, don't eat too many of those, they'll make you sick..." of course, in my 6 year old wisdom, I never listened but paid for it later.
I'll be spending 2 weeks in your wonderful State in October (Murfreesboro) for a training course on Glass C0ckpit airplanes... it should be interesting, although I've a reasonable amount of experience already on them. Always nice to learn something new...
I sincerely hope you and your have a nice fall... I really appreciate your efforts in posting the recipes, as I'm sure others do as well... Y'all have a nice day now, you hear?

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Cornbread Southern Style

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