Recipe of the Week: Mrs HJL’s Sweet, Southern Cornbread

In response to requests for the Sweet, Southern Cornbread recipe Mrs. HJL makes to season our cast iron skillet, here’s her recipe:

  1. Pour about 1/3 cup of vegetable oil into a cast iron skillet. (It should be enough oil to cover the skillet with roughly 1/4 inch of oil.) Place skillet and oil in the oven and turn oven on to 425 degrees.
    • 1 cup freshly ground corn meal
    • 1 cup bread flour (or use finely ground Hard White Wheat flour for a healthier, but heavier cornbread)
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/3- 1/2 cup sugar (Yes, we like it SWEET!)
    • 1 rounded tsp. baking soda (or use a heaping Tablespoon of baking powder and no cream of tartar; we tend to avoid the aluminum in baking powder)
    • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  2. Stir the above dry ingredients together.
    • 1 cup of buttermilk (or milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice added)
    • 1 egg, beaten
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until moist. (The batter should be about the thickness of pancake batter, so adjust flour or milk to get this consistency.)
  4. Once oil is very hot, pour batter into the skillet. (To test the oil, drop a dollop into the oil. It should sizzle right away. Hot oil makes a crispy crust on the cornbread.)
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle. If the toothpick comes out with wet dough on it, keep cooking. Varying altitudes will effect the cooking time.

Serve with beans, creamed chicken, chili, or just enjoy with butter.

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