Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dueling Cornbreads

February 13, 2008

My cyberfriend Nan, who publishes a beautiful blog making women all over the world want to move to a New England farm, cook from scratch, and raise a family, recently gave info on how to make a delicious bean stew with cornbread.

On her blog she runs pictures of her dogs, the snow-covered woods, the cozy house, and mouth-watering food, complete with recipes.

Even so, she used a little sugar in the cornbread. I curmudgeonly made the comment on her post that Southerners didn't allow sugar in cornbread. The fact that I know that South Carolina and probably certain other pockets in the South they do serve sweet cornbread didn't stop me from my niggling complaint. Where I come from, the Gulf Coast of Alabama, a hint of sugar in cornbread makes it pure cake.

Here's the recipe I always use for cornbread, from Mrs. S.R. Dull's cookbook Southern Cooking, first published in 1941. Mrs. Dull was the food editor of the Atlanta Constitution for many years.

I have changed her recipe by substituting half unbleached white flour for half of the cornmeal she used. But I do recommend using buttermilk as she does, and I must tell you that that this should be baked in a 10-inch cast iron frying pan.

2 eggs
1 1/4 Cup yellow corn meal
1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
2 Cups buttermilk
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder

Beat eggs together until light. Add buttermilk, butter and salt. Add meal and flour mixture, being careful putting in, as meal varies and the batter should be a medium batter. Beat smooth. Put about a tablespoon of bacon fat into the pan (vegetable oil can be used) and keep the pan hot. Sift the baking powder into the batter. Dissolve the soda into a spoonful of cold water and add to the mixture and stir well. Bake at 400° for about 15 to 20 minutes, until brown and crusty.

2 comments:

Nan - said...

You are so funny. :<) I know I've made a skillet cornbread before, so I went looking for the recipe, 'of course' it also has sugar. I guess there's no getting away from it for this northern girl. :<) Here it is if your rain and cold makes you want a little sweetener:

Skillet Corn Bread

Preheat oven to 400º F. or 425º F.

Combine:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat pastry)
1/2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder

In another bowl:
Beat well 2 eggs, and add 1 cup + 2 T. milk.

Mix all together well.

Heat a big cast iron skillet (fry pan) and add 1/4 (4 T.) cup butter.
When it is melted pour 3 T. into the mixture.
Turn up the heat, and add the whole mixture to the pan.
Immediately put it in the oven and bake about 20 minutes until it is golden brown on top.
Keep an eye on it, because it might be done sooner.
Test with a skewer to see if it comes out clean. If it does, the bread is done.

Night Stranger said...

How about trying your recipe and leaving out the sugar? Better with soup, beans, greens, and everything you eat.