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Cornbread [MERGED TOPIC]


Suvir Saran
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If any purists want to post a good recipe made without flour, please do. Sized for a 12" cast iron skillet please.

If you can't find what you're looking for here you should probably hang it up. :rolleyes:

It also addresses the flour question. Ya don't need it.

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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  • 3 months later...

Well, it's been not quite a year since this topic was active...

But no one mentioned corn pone or corn sticks. It's my favorite way to make cornbread and I use a couple of antique cast iron pans with molded "cups" shaped like ears of corn. There's another pan with plain cups shaped kind of like string cheese sticks--but I haven't tried that one yet.

You get much more crunchy crust per piece and they're nice and modular for throwing a couple into your lunch box to have along with soup.

My mom never beat the eggs before adding them, but my recipe says to beat the eggs until light before adding. As you veteran foodies know, it does make a difference--and how!

I'm using the recipe from Southern Cooking Cookbook by Mrs. S.R. Dull, written back in the '20s, I think. No sugar, as you might guess. If I add sugar, I make muffins instead. It's too much cognitive dissonance for me if my cornbread comes out sweet.

As with skillet-based corn bread, pre-heat the pans. Even through mine are well seasoned, I spray them with non-stick stuff to ensure the sticks release from the pan. No need to dust with flour or meal.

M

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I'm partial to corn sticks myself. The only problem is that I have one properly seasoned corn stick pan and it takes forever to make them one pan at a time. Because of that, I usually end up making skillet cornbread instead.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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I'm partial to corn sticks myself.  The only problem is that I have one properly seasoned corn stick pan and it takes forever to make them one pan at a time.  Because of that, I usually end up making skillet cornbread instead.

True enough. My friend Bill took a Dremel to the pans and cleaned them up and seasoned them for me--peanut oil, I think. I've just acquired a third pan--he's going to hand me the tools and make me do it myself this time. :biggrin:

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I have some very, very old cast iron pans where the sticks are shaped like ears of corn and some very new ones (cast iron again) where the sticks are shaped like fish. They are fun to use and I really like using the corn ones as they were my great grandmothers.

My problem with these is not that they are so hard to clean up (use of the proper amount of BACON GREASE seems to take care of the clean up issue :wink: ), but that the product tends to turn out dry. I have adjusted various recipes and cooking times and never can make myself happy with the results.

I don't have this problem with sweet corn muffins (an altogether different thing than proper cornbread) or with regular cornbread out of a 9 or 12 inch cast iron pan.

Any ideas?

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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My mother used to do this in the corn stick pans. She always told me to add "an extra splash" of buttermilk and turn the oven down "a bit". Sorry about the specificity here but that is the kind of cook she was. I have never tried it because I never got any of those pans, considering them a PITA. Besides, my skillet corn bread recipe (well, my great grandmother's actually) is too perfect to mess with. I think the point was that given the smaller size and larger surface to volume ratio means that extra liquid and a lower temperature are called for.

I bought one of those fish pans at an old hardware store somewhere in central Texas because I thought it was "cute". I later realized that baking five little fish at a time was totally stupid. I should have gotten two pans if I were serious about using it. It will probably end up as a decorative piece hanging on the wall.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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  • 6 months later...

What type of cornbread? The traditional southern style, the midwest style, the cake style, the western style.

cornbread is not simply cornbread because it can vary a great deal.

I make the old-fashioned "black skillet cornbread" which is dense, with a tight crumb and will hold together when dipped in bean soup (my main parameter).

It is very simple to make, has few ingredients but requires a particular type of cornmeal, not always easy to find.

Here is my grandmother's recipe for REAL down-home Kentucky country cornbread.

Baked in a well-seasoned, cast-iron skillet (10 inch). You can use any baking pan, but it's not the same.

GRAMMAW'S BLACK-SKILLET CORNBREAD

This is a dense, hearty bread, it will hold together when dipped in navy bean soup.

This is nothing at all like the Marie Callenders type of cornbread which is too sweet and more cake than bread. This sticks to your ribs.

Anyway, here is the recipe. Note, there is NO sugar in this recipe.

2 cups stone-ground, a mixture of fine and medium, cornmeal, preferably white but yellow is okay if you can't find the white.

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups buttermilk

2 tablespoons lard, bacon dripping or if you must, canola oil or corn oil

(I make it with bacon drippings or melted lard, but I don't have to worry about cholesterol and I know a lot of folks won't use them or can't use them because of dietary restrictions.)

Preheat oven to 450. Grease skillet and place in oven to heat.

(If using lard or bacon drippings, melt it in the skillet)

Combine all the dry ingredients and whisk to mix and fluff a bit.

Add eggs, buttermilk and oil.

(If using lard, pour the melted lard into a metal cup to measure, make sure there is some still in the skillet).

Mix with a stiff whisk or a large fork, just enough to be sure all the dry ingredients are moist and there are no dry lumps.

Pour into the hot, well-greased skillet, return to oven and bake for 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Cut into 8 wedges. serve hot with fresh butter.

This also makes nice griddle cakes served with butter and molasses, maple syrup or honey.

For variations, you can add freshly-cut-off-the-cob sweet corn.

You can add some green chiles or Jalapenos if you like spicy.

You can add crumbled crisp bacon

You can add some finely diced onion lightly toasted in the oven.

You can add a bit of grated cheese. I grate it fairly fine and let it

air dry for close to an hour so it doesn't melt away to nothing.

YIELD: Makes 8 wedges

SOURCE: Andie’s Grammaw

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Mmm. Sounds good! :smile:

About your question about what kind of cornbread...well...ANY sort, really! I just wanted to open the forum for discussion.

'Great Cornbread' has never been a part of my own personal culinary vernacular. Didn't grow up eating it, and can make a decent general sort of cornbread...but I have never had that semi-religious experience in eating it that is sometimes described by connosieurs of the subject!

I guess the closest I can come to imagining this with something like cornbread, is to compare it in my mind with the way I feel about great mashed potatoes! :wub:

So...I'm looking for some recipe suggestions, that would give that feeling to me about cornbread! (Gosh, not that I really need to consume more CARBS...but what the h**. It's a tough job and somebody's got to do it... :wink:)

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My recipe is has been in our family since at least my great-grandmother. It is essentially just about identical to andiesenji's. It does have that tablespoon of sugar but is not sweet. I think it is there to help brown the crust.

Heat oven to 425F

Place 3 tablespoons lard, bacon drippings or corn oil into a heavy iron skillet.

Put skillet into the oven to heat.

Combine dry ingredients:

2 cups cornmeal, stone ground whole grain

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Combine:

2 cups buttermilk

2 lightly beaten eggs

Stir eggs and buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Do NOT over mix.

Remove pan from oven. Pour ingredients into the pan and return to the oven. (Technique tip: Put the pan on a level surface and pour batter into the middle so it spreads evenly. There will be a lot of sizzling going on and it will make an attractive crust on the outside edges. Makes for a prettier final result.)

Bake for 25 minutes.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Thanks for the reference to the previous thread (I had searched but did not find it, don't know why...)...AND these recipes!

Paula Deen made a recipe on TV the other day which I half-watched while busy around the house...the cornmeal was cooked into a grits-like mixture previous to baking...and included cracklings in the recipe :rolleyes: ...but I can not find the recipe on the FoodNetwork site...

Here is a sort of yuppified but nonetheless delicious recipe that I put together while consulting for a take-out cafe business. These are really good hot and fresh but do not hold well, however...and even freezing and defrosting seems to affect the taste, so it requires that you only make what will be eaten up quick...(not a good recipe for a certain type of production kitchen...).

Not a light muffin...sort of a meal in itself....

Jalapeno-Cornmeal Muffins (12 servings) Preheat oven to 325 F

.....................................................................................

3 C yellow cornmeal

1 C unbleached flour

2 T baking powder

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

5 large eggs

2 C sour cream

1/2 C butter, melted in microwave

1 (16 oz.) can cream-style sweet corn

2 C (8 oz.) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese

3/4 C chopped pickled jalapenos

1. Gather and prep all ingredients.

2. In mixer with paddle or in large bowl by hand, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.

3. In another bowl whisk together eggs and sour cream till smooth. Whisk in butter. Stir in corn, cheese, and jalapenos.

4. Blend moist ingredients into flour mix gently, till just blended.

5. Spoon into twelve paper muffin cups placed into muffin tins. These are large sized muffins...

6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. (Shorten time if using convection oven.) Test with wooden pick in center.

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I use a recipe from BBQ Dinosaur, a BBQ (or so they think) place here in Rochester, NY. It's wonderful... however, I haven't been here long enough to know exactly the rules for posting a recipe that is not mine... If you can find it online, it's called Honey Hush Cornbread.

-- Judy B

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.

--James Michener

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OK, here I am turning the purists upside-down. But a Martha White cornbread kit is consistent and delicious. I am always asked to bring 'Southwestern Cornbread' evertime we go somewhere, so here's the departure from the packet:

Put some good fat in your skillet, rub it all around. This will use a large skillet.

Add an extara egg to what the mix requires. Hand beat them with a fork till broken well.

Add a small can of green chopped chiles, 1/2 can of Rotel, and 1 cup of grated cheese to mixture. DO NOT OVERTBEAT CORNBREAD! When it's wet, it's ready.

Pull out the pan. Pour the batter in. Close door, don't open it for 25 minutes.

Pull it out.. Flip upside down on platter. And try to keep people from burning themselves.

Enjoy. You are now a cornbread wizard.

Edit to add: I don't mean to make it sound like you do not use the liquid. That can be water, milk, or buttermilk. I've used sour cream in a pinch.

Edited by Mabelline (log)
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I have a couple of unusual recipes - I am at work this morning but when I get home I will post the one I know is in my computer. It is for cornbread made with "fermented" mash. And was from a collection of recipes from my honorary uncle, "Uncle Hat" who was an itinerant preacher who traveled, mostly by mule, through the remote hill country of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, etc.

He often stayed at the rather remote homes of the congregation and when times were hard, as during the great depression, it was difficult feeding even one extra person.

Uncle Hat was also a great story teller and related his experience at a remote homestead where they had run short of corn meal but the man of the family had some mash "workin" and went out into the woods and came back with some mash in a bucket which was mixed with the plain cornmeal to make a big batch of cornbread to go with the beans which was their entire meal.

When he got home Uncle Hat experimented by making up a batch of mash and leaving it to "work" for a couple of days (the process is very rapid) and then making the cornbread which he felt was a superior product.

This was the only time that Uncle Hat set foot in a kitchen, feeling that there should be a firm division between "man's work" and "woman's work." However he was proud of his discovery and told the story to anyone who was unfamiliar with it.

If you are wondering about the name, Uncle Hat's mother was a great reader and had some books about discoveries in Egypt in the mid-nineteenth century. She came across the names of several Pharohs and named her eldest son Hatsheput - not realizing that this pharaoh was a woman. She liked the sound of it. Uncle Hat said that he shortenend it when he was in school and so he was known as Hat for the remainder of his life.

When he came to visit us he always had to bake a batch of his cornbread.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Paula Deen made a recipe on TV the other day which I half-watched while busy around the house...the cornmeal was cooked into a grits-like mixture previous to baking...and included cracklings in the recipe :rolleyes: ...but I can not find the recipe on the FoodNetwork site...

This sounds like what my great aunt would make when I was a kid. But, these weren't baked. We called it "cracklin' bread" or, for reasons completely unknown to me, "bump-bides". When she was finished making lard, she would reserve the cracklins and whack us kids with a big wooden spoon when we would try to snitch. Then she would cook up a thick batch of cornmeal "mush". This was surely made with coarse whole grain cornmeal. She would stir in some cracklins and let the whole thing cool just enough to handle. I remember her coating her hands with lard and forming these round "cakes" about 3 or 4 inches across and almost an inch thick. These were then fried in a frying pan in some of the lard until nicely browned. We ate them with cane syrup sometimes.

I may have to recreate this the next time I make lard. :biggrin:

edit to add: I am not at all sure about this... Now that I think about it, she may have stirred in some baking soda just before forming. This may make some sense because I can see them going from her hands into the skillet as quickly as possible. With that kind of timing, she possibly got some "puff" making them lighter. Not that I remember them being particularly light. I will have to ask my sister.

Edited by fifi (log)

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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andie, that's too cool. Hat is a worthy name, seein's she was one of the Middle Kingdom's most valuable leaders. She is believed to have encouraged sea voyages far more reaching than we will acknowledge.

Fermented mash would make a fine batter for cornbread. Although most of us have our stills down at the moment, as you said, it's quite easy to ferment maize.

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I normally do the bacon fat in cast iron skillet routine, with buttermilk or yogurt.

But for the eGullet NJ pig roast, I have volunteered to supply cornbread, and one 10-inch skillet will surely be an insufficient quantity.

I figure on making the cornbread in large aluminum foil baking pans, but has anyone had any luck using a cast iron skillet recipe (the fat in the pan, not mixed in with the batter) in such a pan? Or should I stick with a more basic recipe?

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I normally do the bacon fat in cast iron skillet routine, with buttermilk or yogurt.

But for the eGullet NJ pig roast, I have volunteered to supply cornbread, and one 10-inch skillet will surely be an insufficient quantity.

I figure on making the cornbread in large aluminum foil baking pans, but has anyone had any luck using a cast iron skillet recipe (the fat in the pan, not mixed in with the batter) in such a pan? Or should I stick with a more basic recipe?

I am not sure that will work. My only reason for saying this is all of the notes I have from way back say "do not double this recipe". You can easily just make multiple batches and turn them out whole and wrap in foil. Then you can reheat them and slice them later. That is what I do when feeding a crowd. It works really well because you can make them a couple of days ahead and store in the fridge. This assumes, of course, that your skillet is seasoned enough so they fall out in one piece.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Paula Deen made a recipe on TV the other day which I half-watched while busy around the house...the cornmeal was cooked into a grits-like mixture previous to baking...and included cracklings in the recipe :rolleyes: ...but I can not find the recipe on the FoodNetwork site...

I found the recipe by going through all of her episodes on the FoodNetwork site. I blame my hunger pangs on you! :laugh:

Jalapeno Cracklin' Corn Bread

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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OK, since nobody wants to be the first to publish a sweet or "cake type" cornbread, I will. I like the Southern "sour" corn bread as well and have tried many recipes, but here is the one I always come back to, an unusual version using light cream instead of a fat and milk/buttermilk combination.

It's from a great aunt, one of my paternal grandfather's seven sisters, who could have done a "Great Cooks" series all on their own.

Aunt Ilea's Cornbread

1 C. flour

2/3 C. cornmeal

1/3 C. sugar

4 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

1 C. light cream (half and half)

2 eggs

Throw everything in a bowl, beat with a whisk until smooth and bake 25 minutes or so in a greased 8" or 9" square pan at 400 degrees, until top browns.

(Always invoked one of my ex's favorite sayings: Pi R Square? No, Pie R Round, Cornbread R Square.)

Edit to add my Grandmother Phebe's version, other side of family. She baked this in a large metal pan and my grandfather ate it mushed up in his milk. As she gave it to me:

2 C. corn meal

2 C. sour milk (naturally soured)

2 T. drippings

Salt

2 t. soda

Dissolve soda in milk and mix quickly. Bake in metal pan.

Grandma cooked on a cook stove, but if I had to guess, I'd say a 10 X 15 inch pan (batter will make a very thin layer), greased with the drippings, about 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

Edited by ruthcooks (log)

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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    • By andiesenji
      ANDIE'S ABSOLUTELY ADDICTING BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES
      Here’s the thing about pickles: if you’ve never made them, they may seem to be an overwhelming (and possibly mysterious) project. Our listener Andie – who has offered some really valuable help to the show several times in the past – has sent this recipe which provides an opportunity to “try your hand” at pickle-making without much effort. Andie suggests that making a small batch, and storing the pickles in the refrigerator (without “processing”) can get you started painlessly. Our Producer Lisa says that the result is so delicious that you won’t be able to keep these pickles on hand - even for the 3-4 months that they’ll safely keep!
      The basics are slicing the cucumbers and other veggies, tossing them with salt and crushed ice and allowing them to stand for awhile to become extra-crisp. You then make a simple, sweet and spicy syrup, (Andie does this in the microwave), rinse your crisp veggies, put them in a jar, pour the syrup over, and keep them in the refrigerator until they’re “pickled” – turning the jar upside down each day. In about 2 weeks you’ll have pickles – now how much easier could that be? If you are inspired, I hope you’ll try these – and enjoy!
      MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART.
      FOR THE PICKLES:
      4 to 6 pickling cucumbers (cucumbers should be not much larger than 1 inch in diameter, and
      4 to 5 inches long)
      1/2 to 3/4 of one, medium size onion.
      1/2 red bell pepper.
      1/4 cup, pickling salt (coarse kosher salt)
      2 quarts, cracked ice
      water to cover
      2 tablespoons, mustard seed.
      1 heaping teaspoon, celery seed
      FOR THE SYRUP:
      1 1/2 cups, vinegar
      *NOTE: Use cider or distilled white vinegar, do not use wine vinegar.
      1 1/2 cups, sugar
      2 heaping teaspoons, pickling spice mix.
      PREPARE THE PICKLES:
      Carefully wash the cucumbers and bell pepper. Slice all vegetables very thin, using a food processor with a narrow slicing blade, or by hand, or using a V-slicer or mandoline. Toss the sliced vegetables together in a glass or crockery bowl large enough to hold twice the volume of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, add the cracked ice, toss again to blend all ingredients and add water to just barely cover the vegetables. Place a heavy plate on top of the vegetables to keep them below the top of the liquid.
      *Set aside for 4 hours.
      PREPARE THE SYRUP:
      Place the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices in a 4-quart Pyrex or other microwavable container (the large Pyrex measure works very well)
      Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes. [if a microwave is not available, simmer the syrup in a narrow saucepan on the stovetop, over low heat, for the same length of time.] Allow the syrup to cool. Strain the syrup and discard the spices.
      ASSEMBLE THE PICKLES:
      Place one wide-mouth quart canning jar (or two wide-mouth pint jars) with their lids in a pot of water to cover, place over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees). Remove the pot from the heat and allow jar(s) and lid(s) to remain in the hot water until needed.
      *After the 4 hours are up (crisping the vegetables as described above) pour the vegetables into a large colander and rinse well. The cucumber slices should taste only slightly salty. Return the rinsed vegetables to the bowl, add the mustard seeds and celery seeds and toss well until evenly distributed. Set aside.
      Return the syrup to the microwave, microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes [or heat the syrup on the stovetop] until an instant read thermometer shows the temperature of the syrup is 190 to 200 degrees.
      Place the vegetables into one wide-mouth quart jar, or in 2 wide-mouth pint
      jars that have been scalded as described above. Pour the syrup over the vegetables, place the lids on the jar or jars, tighten well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
      The following day, turn the jar upside down - then continue to turn every day for 2 weeks. (This is to insure that the pickles are evenly flavored)
      After 2 weeks open the jar and taste. The pickles should be ready to eat.
      Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months.
      ( RG2154 )
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