Good Old Fashioned Corn Bread


Makes: About 6 servings

Time: About 45 minutes

Corn bread is indispensable, especially to a vegetarian diet, where its full flavor and slightly crunchy texture are welcome at any meal. And few dishes deliver so much for so little work.  Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

1 1/4 cups buttermilk, milk, or yogurt (or 1 1/4 cups milk plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar; see Step 2), plus more as needed

2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar, plus more if you like sweet corn bread

1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2.  If you’re using buttermilk, milk, or yogurt, ignore this step. If not, make the soured milk: Warm the milk gently—1 minute in the microwave is sufficient, just enough to take the chill off—and add the vinegar. Let it rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

3. Put the butter in a medium ovenproof skillet or an 8-inch square baking pan over medium heat; heat until good and hot, about 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the egg into the buttermilk. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients (just enough to combine); if it seems too dry, add another tablespoon or two of buttermilk. Pour the batter into the prepared skillet or pan, smooth out the top if necessary, and put in the oven.

4. Bake about 30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and the sides have pulled away from the pan; a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. Serve hot or warm.



9 thoughts on “Good Old Fashioned Corn Bread

  1. You might want to edit this post. Right now it looks like you’re calling for eleven-fourths cups of buttermilk, which is very different than one and one-foruth.

  2. This is a typical Northern interpretation of cornbread, ugh. First, buttermilk should be de rigeur and not a casual option. Second, flour and sugar in cornbread? Major heresies. Third, self-rising cornmeal is the choice of the daily cornbread maker, making the baking powder unnecessary if you’re keeping out flour. Fourth, "skillet or pan"? Please, only a cast iron skillet properly heated before adding the batter will give cornbread the requisite crust. Finally, cornbread cut in squares is a dead giveaway for gringo cornbread: proper cornbread is in the form of a skillet wedge or a pone. Mark, you should know from cornbread, bless your heart!

  3. Great cornbread (not too sweet, no vanilla flavor, nice un-cakey crumb, not dry, good crust) is wonderful! My grammie’s recipe does the trick! I usually use an iron skillet and cut in wedges. New England all the way!

  4. I see someone beat me to the "ugh, that’s northern cornbread" comment so I don’t have to be the jerk about it 😉 But it’s true. That being said, I understand people wanting a sweeter, moister cornbread, so what I do to appease them (and it really is pretty good) is to dump some defrosted frozen sweet corn into the southern batter. It adds both sweetness and moisture. No compromise, though, on the cast iron skillet. Cornbread just ain’t right if it’s not made in a preheated skillet.

  5. I’ve never tried it, but Google sez you can add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon to a cup of soymilk to mimic buttermilk in recipes.

  6. I’ve never tried it, but I understand you can add a tablespoon of vinegar of lemon per cup of soymilk to get a buttermilk substitute.

  7. LOVED this cornbread (the version from HTCE with bacon fat–& buttermilk, of course). didn’t so much like the corny cornbread recipe; it was crumbly in a bad way.

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