Cast Iron Chaos RecentChanges
XMLFacebookTwitter

LoginLogoutRegisterContact the WebmasterPayPal Me

Skillet Cornbread

sweetcornbread.jpg sweetcornbread2.jpg

YouTube: Sweet Yankee Cast Iron Cornbread

Yet another learning experience, and more proof that my palate was far too limited before I discovered real cooking. As a nerdy white Yankee, the only cornbread I'd eaten in my life was sweet cornbread from Boston Market or other places. I'd never eaten plain cornbread, until I tried to make it myself. When I made cornbread for the first time, I used a mix…and it came out undercooked. For my second attempt, I made it from scratch with a recipe from the Internet. I made the cornbread in a cast iron pan, and the texture came out perfect – but because I'd only eaten sweet cornbread, I wasn't prepared for a plain cornbread. It was fine when served with butter melted on top, but I had been expecting one with a sweeter taste. So, I went and did some research, changed and added the ingredients, and came up with not one, but two cornbread recipes:

Sweet Cornbread

Pans needed: Large bowl for mixing dry ingredients (plus the final batter). cast iron skillet to cook the cornbread.

Place a cast iron skillet in the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and heat up the pan along with the oven.

As the oven is heating, combine all the dry ingredients together in the large-sized bowl and mix very well. Add wet ingredients (milk, vinegar, egg, butter) and stir until completely mixed. Add 1/4 cup milk, to thin the batter and make it easier to stir. The batter should be of a consistency where it is thick but stirs smoothly. A little more milk can be added if you feel it needs to be less thick. Add honey to batter and mix it in.

When the temperature reaches 400, carefully remove the pan from the oven. Add the oil (or bacon fat or lard) to the cast iron skillet, and put it in the oven for 5 minutes to get the oil very hot.

Remove the cast iron pan out from the oven, and pour the oil into the batter and stir it in. The oil is hot – listen to it sizzle when you pour it on! Pour the batter back into the cast iron skillet, bake for about 30 minutes. The top of the cornbread should be golden-brown, and the bread should be pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan.

Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before trying to cut and serve.


Southern Style Cornbread

southercornbread01.jpgsouthercornbread02.jpg

The sweet cornbread recipe posted above is blasphemy to many Southerners. If you consider yourself truly from the American South, then you are likely to proclaim (loud and long) that there should be no sugar in a true cornbread. In fact, Southern-style cornbread only contains six ingredients:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the oven reaches 450 degrees, add bacon grease or lard to a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Place the pan in the hot oven for five minutes to melt the grease and heat the pan.

Mix cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and buttermilk; stir until just combined. Remove the pan from the oven and very carefully swirl the oil to coat the bottom and a little way up the sides. Again, Very carefully pour the excess hot oil into the cornmeal mixture; stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the hot pan – and enjoy the sizzle.

Bake until the bread is firm in the middle and lightly golden on top with a nice brown crust on the bottom, about 20 minutes. It will be pulling away from the sides of the skillet. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm…with lots of fresh butter on top.


Cornbread Cake

cornbreadcake.jpg

January 9, 2015: I made an attempt at baking an extra-large sized cornbread, and I learned that this requires the cornbread to be prepared in the same manner as a cake. The additional volume of the pan and the batter would cook the outside of the cake too quickly if the oven temperature was over 400 degrees; the inside would remain underdone while the outside would burn. Considering this, the following method should be used for preparing a large-sized cornbread cake:

Pans needed: Large bowl for mixing dry ingredients (plus the final batter). 12-inch cast iron skillet to cook the cornbread.

Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and heat up the pan along with the oven.

As the oven is heating, combine all the dry ingredients together in the large-sized bowl and mix very well. Add wet ingredients (buttermilk, egg, butter) and stir until completely mixed. Add 1/2 cup milk, to thin the batter and make it easier to stir. The batter should be of a consistency where it is thick but stirs smoothly. A little more milk can be added if you feel it needs to be less thick. Add honey to batter and mix it in.

When the temperature reaches 425 degrees, carefully remove the pan from the oven. Add the oil (or bacon fat or lard) to the cast iron skillet, and put it in the oven for 5 minutes to get the oil very hot.

Remove the cast iron pan out from the oven, and pour the oil into the batter and stir it in. The oil is hot – listen to it sizzle when you pour it on! Pour the batter back into the cast iron skillet, and place the hot pan into the oven. Immediately turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Bake the cake for 60 minutes. The oven temperature will decrease as the cake bakes.

The top of the cornbread should be golden-brown, and the bread should be pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan.

Remove and let cool for 20 minutes before trying to cut and serve.


See also: New England Spider Cake