A Curated Collection of Recipes for This Country Classic
Melt-in-your-mouth homemade cornbread is the ultimate side dish: Pair it with a steaming bowl of chili, serve it with the quintessential meat-and-three meal, or keep it simple with a generous pat of butter. With so many varieties, this country classic never gets old. Sweet or savory, fried or baked, there’s a cornbread out there for everyone – find your favorite in this curated collection of recipes.
By Mary Beth Wallace
Photography by Emily Long
Yields: 8-10 servings
3-4 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups milk or soy milk
1 Tbsp. honey
Preheat oven to 400°. Pour 1 Tbsp. of oil in a 9-inch cast iron skillet and place in preheated oven. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Form a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add milk, honey, and 2-3 Tbsp. of oil. Mix thoroughly.
Take skillet out of the oven. When the batter hits the skillet, it should sizzle. Pour batter into the skillet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve cornbread warm with butter and honey.
“What makes this cornbread special is the quality of the ingredients. I look for fresh, stone-ground flour and buy my cornmeal at the farmers market.”
Laverne Major & Tahnika Rodriguez’s
Hot Water Cornbread
Yields: 8 servings
Oil, for frying
2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
Heat a nonstick skillet with enough oil so as to not cover the bread (for a 2-inch skillet, use 1 inch of oil). Test oil to ensure it’s very hot by dashing water on it – you should hear a sizzle. Boil water. In a bowl that can handle boiling water, place 2 cups of self-rising cornmeal and sprinkle roughly 1 tsp. of salt. Pour boiling water over the dry ingredients a little at a time until everything is moist and malleable to your hands. Scoop a small amount of moist batter into your hands and pat to a shape of your liking (round, oblong, etc.); have the faucet running with cold water to cool your hands as you shape your batter.
Once one is shaped, place in very hot oil and allow one side to brown, then turn to the other side. Continue shaping and putting them in the skillet. When both sides are brown, remove and place on a paper towel. Serve immediately.
“No one will believe this cornbread is just meal and salt, but it really is!”
Yields: 8 servings
3 heaping spoonfuls Crisco (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (preferably Mayfield)
1 1/2-2 cups White Lily® buttermilk cornmeal
Preheat oven to 400°. In a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt Crisco until just shy of smoking. While Crisco is melting, whisk egg in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk and blend until pale yellow. Add cornmeal and blend until you reach the consistency of pancake batter. Add hot Crisco to the batter, leaving just enough oil in the skillet to coat. (Note: Crisco should be hot enough to sizzle as it’s poured into the batter.) Blend batter well and pour back into the hot skillet.
Place skillet in preheated oven and bake a little over 20 minutes, or until golden brown. If the skillet is well-seasoned, the bread should pop right out onto a serving plate. Allow skillet to cool, and then wipe clean with paper towels – do not wash.
“This is my grandma’s recipe, handed down by my mom, and anyone making it should try it a few times and adjust to their taste. My dad always said to cut the cornbread on a plate, not in the skillet!”
Yields: 6-8 servings
1 1/2 cups cornmeal (medium ground)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp. brown sugar (optional)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 jalapeños, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup corn
Preheat oven to 425° with a 12-inch cast iron skillet inside. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, milk, honey, and brown sugar (if using). Carefully remove skillet from oven and add butter to coat the bottom. Add diced jalapeños, bell pepper, and corn to skillet and set aside. Whisk wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Add jalapeños, bell pepper, corn, and butter from skillet into the batter and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into skillet and place in oven. Cook until center is firm, about 18-20 minutes – a toothpick placed in the center should come out dry. Serve while hot with butter.
“This recipe combines the best of both traditional, Southern-style cornbread with the sweetness and spiciness of other styles.”