Commonly found in the Southern United States, skillet cornbread is delicious, easy to make, and often served beside a pot of brown beans. It can be made a day or two ahead of time, as long as care is taken to keep it from drying out.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C)
- Grease the skillet with bacon drippings (ideal) or oil. Butter isn't recommended, since it can burn when you preheat the skillet.
- Preheat the skillet until the drippings/oil is smoking. This ensures a good crust on the bottom of the cornbread.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Thoroughly mix the sifted ingredients together and add the corn meal.
- In a second bowl, beat the egg well. Add the melted butter (or pan drippings) and the milk and continue to beat until well mixed.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix using fast strokes. Take care not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the skillet and place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cornbread should have a golden brown color when done, and a knitting needle or knife-point will come out "dry" when inserted in the bread.
Notes, tips, and variations Edit
- Ideally, all ingredients should be at room temperature (about 75°F / 24°C) for this recipe. However, a good result can still be had if this is not the case.
- Yellow corn meal is preferable to white corn meal, but this can vary according to locality and personal taste.
- Optionally, ¼ to ½ cup of diced cooked ham or crumbled bacon can be added to the batter before pouring into the skillet. This may add a few minutes to the baking time.
- The skillet must be oven-safe. Ideally, skillet cornbread should be baked in a cast-iron skillet.