Years ago, when we got into the business of making cornmeal, I had never made cornbread. Tis true! So I asked a friend and she said, “Oh, it’s easy. Just follow 2 & 2 & 2 rule and you’ll have cornbread.” So the definition of “2 & 2 & 2” is: 2 eggs, 2 cups cornmeal (self-rising), and 2 cups buttermilk. Fast forward to 2018 after many, many pans of cornbread later and I can honestly say, I still rely on her rule, with a few additions. Thought I’d share the original recipe and some more information with you.
I think good cornbread is underrated. I’m not talking about that sweet, cake-like stuff a lot of restaurants serve. Pure old-time cornbread is what I’m talking about here; real cornbread, made with real stone ground cornmeal, without lots of sugar and without flour added. Some pros for cornbread: it’s easy to make and quick, no kneading and waiting for dough to rise, it’s pure in ingredients. A con: maybe not as tasty the next day, but certainly still edible.
A word about corn meal. Most of the corn meal marketed in grocery stores today a titled Corn Meal Mix. This means there is wheat flour added to the mix. Our Old School Brand Corn Meals (White and Yellow) have no flour added.
A word about milk vs. buttermilk. Most folks have milk in their fridge, but I firmly believe buttermilk makes a superior cornbread. Even powdered buttermilk works well, but in my humble opinion, it is worth a trip to the store for a little buttermilk for the cornbread.
2 cups Old School Brand Self-Rising White Cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk (or milk)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Stir the above ingredients together and pour into a well greased cast iron skillet (8″ or 10″ skillets work well). I like to preheat my skillet with a little oil in the bottom, about 2-3 tablespoons, so that when I pour in my cornbread batter, the hot oil forms a sizzling bottom crust. (But preheating the skillet or baking pan (9″x 9″) isn’t required. What IS REQUIRED is that your pan be well greased) Pour batter into pan and slide into oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for about 28-30 minutes until golden brown on top and center is fully cooked.
ENHANCING THE ABOVE RECIPE
I have also learned that cornbread is quite versatile. Of course you can add shredded cheese, jalapenos, bell peppers bits, or bacon bits. Think outside the box a bit: how about adding cooked apples and cinnamon (about 1 cup apples and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to above recipe) or mashed sweet potatoes (again about 1 cup)? I’m thinking about trying some fresh dill from the herb garden this weekend…
Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading–