I don’t know if you remember or not, but when you use to go to your grandmothers and there would be a pan of cornbread, or what they would call pawn-bread on the table. The way that I liked is was still hot and I would cover it with butter. My grandmother would tell me that the secret was in the pan. Do you know what pan I am talking about? It is the heavy duty cast iron pans that you will end up inheriting because you can not destroy these pans. They were made to last forever and ever. I use my 8-inch cast iron skillet to make my cornbread. Here’s my favorite recipe:
2 c. cornmeal
2/3 c. flour
1-1/2 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper just a pinch
1 & 2/3 c. buttermilk
2-3 tbsp. of bacon drippings (I have used sausage grease in a pinch. Mom used lard occasionally.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prep your cast iron skillet by placing the bacon drippings(sausage grease or lard)) in the skillet and roll the skillet or use a paper towel to coat the interior sides of the skillet with the bacon grease(sausage grease or lard). Place the skillet in the pre-heated oven while preparing the batter:
In a medium bowl, add all your dry ingredients and mix well.
Add 3/4 of the buttermilk and stir.
Remove skillet from oven and slowly add about 1 tablespoon of the hot oil from the
skillet, into the batter, stirring well. (Use a pot holder to pick up the skillet!!)
Note: the skillet and bacon grease should be very hot but not smoking.
Watching the consistency of the batter, carefully add the rest of the buttermilk while
The consistency of the cornbread batter should look like thick pancake batter. This may
require a little more or less of the buttermilk. If the mix is too thick, add more
buttermilk. If the mixture is too thin, add more cornmeal.
Lightly sprinkle the skillet bottom with dry corn meal and pour in the batter.
Immediately, place skillet in pre-heated oven.
Bake at 400 degrees F about 25 minutes. Time will vary due to the consistency of the batter you wound up with. Watch the cornbread after about 20 minutes and cook until the top is nice golden brown.
After the top is brown, remove the cornbread from the oven and let it set and cool a little before serving.
I love this recipe, it goes great with most meals, my favorite too fix it with is chili. I love my cast iron pans because they are so easy to care for; all you really have to use is hot water and a stiff nylon brush. They do not recommend using soap or any harsh detergents. If you are still having problems removing the stock on food then boil some water in your pan or baking dish for a few minutes and is should loosen the food and make it easier to remove. You want to towel dry immediately, this is to prevent rusting because it is made out of cast iron and apply a coating of oil or shorting while it is still warm, not hot, you don’t want to burn yourself. I keep mine in the oven when I am not using it, but you can store yours in any dry place. Just remember to never put you cast iron cookware in the dishwasher. You also have to be careful about cooling the cast iron too fast. Do not take your pan straight from the stove and put it under cold water. The pan will shatter if you do this. This is heartbreaking if this pan belonged to a loved one.