Cornbread is one of those things that everyone has an opinion on. I even think several parts of the country think it belongs to them. That is why I called this southern cornbread. Southern cornbread definitely comes from the south and although even southerners don’t necessarily agree on the entire recipe, most agree on two things: It should be made with buttermilk, and it shouldn’t be sweet. We eat it with dinner, which is almost always not a sweet kind of meal, and at least to most of us, making it sweet would make it taste odd with non-sweet food. I have to laugh at the whole north vs. south food thing. Growing up, I always heard northerners put sugar in everything (with cornbread being sited as an example), which I am sure they don’t. As an adult, I have heard from northerners that they think southerners put sugar in everything – siting sweet tea as an example. Being southern, I know that sugar is rarely added to savory foods in the south, so I think we all need to get rid of the stereotypes and actually look at the recipes. Hey, and even try it the other way – who knows, you might actually like it better.
This recipe includes eggs, which is another recipe controversy at least in the south. You can’t taste them, but I think they make a difference that is hard to describe but better. This is obviously just my opinion. My mother doesn’t use eggs and makes a very thin crispy cornbread because that is how my dad likes it. I like her’s too, but this is my favorite. I have experimented around quite a bit – even trying a recipe with regular milk, but this combination is my favorite. I also use an iron skillet to bake mine that I preheat and then better. This gives the cornbread a nice buttery, crispy crust, but you could bake it in any type of pan.
I would love to know how you usually make your cornbread? Buttermilk or regular milk? Eggs or no eggs? Sugar or no sugar? Oh, and where you are from, and if your way is typical for your region.
- 2½ cups cornmeal (I use white if I can find it.)
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1½ tsps. salt
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsps. butter or oil for greasing the pan (I prefer butter.)
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and place your iron skillet inside for about ten to get hot while you make the batter.
- Whisk together cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
- Add remaining ingredients (except the butter or oil for greasing the pan) and stir until well combined.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and reduce the oven’s temperature to 450 degrees. Put the butter or oil in the pan and swirl it around to to cover the bottom being careful not to burn yourself. The iron skillet is very hot!
- Pour the batter into the skillet and return to the oven.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.