A kind of bread made by baking a wet batter of ground corn (maize) in a cake pan. Technically it's probably a cake, but in the South it's considered a bread.

Cornbread typically consists of cornmeal, water, an egg, and something to make it rise. Some people will add diced jalapeño peppers, corn kernels, and other tidbits.


Don't even try to understand cornbread unless you've eaten it every day for at least 10 years. The subtleties and nuances of the cornbread will elude you.

Sure, you can put japs in there if you like. But it's the bacon grease that makes cornbread real. Martha White's Self-Rising cornmeal mix is all you need to start with. Use buttermilk, not regular milk. (Do they have buttermilk outside the South? I can just see a bunch of Yankees throwing a stick of butter in a glass of milk and putting it in the microwave.) Water is out! Out, I say! No wonder some people think it's a freaking cake.

You don't need a measuring cup. Just throw a bunch of Martha White in a bowl, add an egg, put some bacon grease in there (2 tablespoons per pan of cornbread will be about right), and add buttermilk until it's about the consistency of . . . sperm. Or whatever. That's all I could think of right now. The thing is, you don't want it so thick that you can't stir it, but you don't want it so watery that if you turned the bowl sideways, it would immediately run out. Clear enough?

Now, one of the biggest things that ruins cornbread is what you cook it in. Are there options? Hell fucking no! A black skillet is the only option. And you've got to put some bacon grease in there and heat it up in the oven for at least five minutes (425 is the recommended degree of hotness), so that when you put the mix into the skillet, you hear a decided sizzle. Never wash a black skillet! You have to season it, and that means you clean freaks will just have to live with a bit of a mess if you want real cornbread.

Cook it at that temperature until it's brown on top; probably about 15 minutes. Either eat it hot with real butter or put it in a glass of cold milk (some prefer buttermilk) and crumble it up. If you're going to eat it with food, beans would be your best bet. A bowl of pinto beans with some hot cornbread and a slice of onion and some pickle relish and some coleslaw -- man, what you talkin' 'bout? This is the best cheap meal you'll ever have.

Oh, and the japs part. If you want Mexican cornbread, add japs, one of those little cute cans of whole kernel corn (drained), pimentos, a bunch of grated cheddar cheese, and diced onion to the mix before you cook it. It's a colorful and delicious "cake."

Cornbread is a derivative of a food made by Native Americans which predated the Europeans who settled the Americas. The early forms of cornbread were (and are) called pone (corn-pone is a different topic than cornbread really), which is derived from the Algonquin word apan. The basic ingredients then were cornmeal, salt, and water - and they continue to be the core ones today, though they have been expanded on a good deal in certain recipes. Northern cornbread recipes tend to contain more sugar and lean towards pastries or cakes when compared to the Southern versions. Ironic that something which is so wrapped in southern pride originates with a people whom they gave little respect and subsequently kicked off the land while subjecting them to vast cruelty and derision. But then, that is the true spirit of our country.

(this recipe is vegan)


1 cup corn meal
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder (not soda!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup soy milk

Mix all of the dry ingredients together throroughly. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Now pour the wet things in all at once and mix them up until it is nice and smooth, make sure there are no clumps or lumps, but bumps are okay since it should have a sort of gritty texture. Try not to mix it with too much zeal, though. Lightly oil an 8 inch (ha! no metric here! take that brits!) pan and pour the mixture into it. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. When it is done cooking and removed from the oven, let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy.
Cornbread is a favorite treat appropriate for any fall gatherings. It's a crowd pleaser when served with sweet butter or honey! Please note that this recipe does not have anything in the way of preservatives, and will go bad within a few days if not properly covered and refrigerated!

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat a greased 9x9 pan in a 425ºF oven for 20-22 minutes. Pour bread mixture into hot pan and place back in oven for 20 minutes.

Yield: 1 large loaf
Source: Paraphrased from McCoy, The Sabbats
Use for: Lughnasadh, Mabon

Pagan recipes

Cornbread is so easy to make that even a Slovenly-College-Student Semimoron can make it. If you have an oven, you have no excuse. Cornbread is not only simple, but dirt cheap, good for you, impresses friends, goes well with meals, can be eaten by itself with honey for breakfast or dessert, etc. Lots of possibilities. Mandatory side dish with Chicken-Fried Steak.

This recipe is slightly different from those above, mainly in that it makes more, and a few ingredient substitutions. In my experience, white sugar should be avoided in some kinds of baking, as the end product is softer and less sweet when honey is used instead. Cornbread that is too sweet can suffer from the "cake" syndrome.

Ingredients

Equipment

Procedure

This is very simple.
  1. Start the oven heating to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs, and warm the honey in a microwave oven or by floating a cupful of it in warm water. Warm honey pours better and mixes better.
  4. Combine wet ingredients in the medium bowl. Add the honey last.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Combine with the whisk until it's all mixed, then stop. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour this mixture into the greased pan.
  7. Put the pan in the oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
  8. After 20 minutes of baking, open the oven and test the cornbread by poking something skinny into it (a toothpick or skewer is best, but knives work). If it comes out clean, and the edges of the bread are a little brown, it's done. Cornbread is very sensitive to being overbaked, so watch carefully. I've never had a batch take longer than 25 minutes to reach perfection.
  9. Remove from the oven, serve warm. Put whatever doesn't get eaten immediately in the fridge, or it will go rancid 2 days later.
Average preparation time is about 40 minutes, although if you have a great set of kitchen tools and are very organized, it could probably go faster.

Enjoy. Notify me of any improvements you can think of, as I'm always open to kitchen experimentation. Always room for improvement.

A country-rock band from Columbus, Georgia. Not 100% country, so Cornbread's poppier sound appeals to a wider audience. They play locally, around the state, and have their music played on radio stations across the South. They are the opening act for concernts given by groups such as Train, Sister Hazel, or Shawn Mullins. Cornbread has received awards for it's music from around the world, including their video for Angel's in the Southland being voted the number one most requested independent video on London's NOW TV.

Their front man is Keni Thomas, a former U.S. Army Ranger, and veteran of the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. His singing voice is in the high-tenor range, and he does a decent job.

Their bassist is Eddie Waylen.
The drummer is Robbie Wilson.
The guitarists are Alex Jacobs and Marcus Pittman.


Discography:

Following Ceres - 1999

Headspace and Timing - 1999

Presents the Unseen - 2000
1. Intro
2. What You Known Fo
3. Do What You Gotta Do
4. So Called
5. Soulja's Love Song
6. Retaliation
7. Keep Rollin'
8. Love/Hate
9. It's on Us
10. Unseen
11. From the Start
12. Wait for War
13. Only the Strong Will Survive
14. Outro Bounds

No Place Like Home - 2001



Cornbread's web page is http://www.cornbreadmusic.com

Allergy Safe Recipes

2 tablespoons bacon grease
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 cups self-rising cornmeal (this is corn meal with the proper proportions of baking soda, baking powder, and salt already added; you can use regular cornmeal and add the required other ingredients)

Turn the oven to 425 (F). Put the bacon grease in a 10" iron skillet. Put the skillet into the oven. Meanwhile, combine the eggs and buttermilk.
Put the cornmeal into a large bowl. When the bacon grease is melted, pour the grease into the eggs and buttermilk while mixing. Stir the egg/buttermilk/grease mixture into the cornmeal. Pour the cornmeal into the hot skillet and spread it quickly.

Put the skillet into the oven and bake 25 minutes. Immediately remove from the oven and upturn it onto a serving plate.

Serve with turnip greens with lots of pot likker and cold buttermilk.


Copyright 1997-1998, Eileen Kupstas Soo. Use and copying of this information are permitted as long as (1) no fees or compensation are charged for use, copies or access to this information, and (2) this copyright notice is included intact. -- CST Approved.

Normally I don't see the point in embellishing something so perfect as cornbread with additional crap, particularly meat, but this is a very popular variation where I'm from. It doesn't have a name that I am aware of so I will name it...

novasoy's Hammy Cornbread

2 boxes of sweet yellow cornbread mix
2 cans, yellow sweet whole corn, drained
2 cups, shredded smoked or country ham
.5 cup, diced yellow onion
other ingredients listed on cornbread box (milk, eggs, oil, etc.)

You see, what you are basically doing is making a double batch of cornbread with some ham and onions in it. Coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together, and then pour into the skillet. Place skillet into the oven. It should take about 40 minutes to bake, but you should test it with a toothpick every 10 minutes or so so it doesn't overcook. When the toothpick comes out clean, you're ready to eat!

This recipe goes great with a pot of beans, as the Cab Calloway/Louis Jordan song "Beans and Cornbread" attests, or try it with some chili.

I know what some of you readers must be thinking, "Oh, no! Not another write-up on cornbread!"

Don't stop reading cornbread lovers! The thesis of this write-up is not a recipe, even though it contains one. It is not an essay on the virtues, or on the history, or on how much corn bread in the northern euphemism sucks ass. The previous write-ups have already tilled these rows enough.

This is a review of someone else’s recipe; Erika Bruce. Cooking and writing for Cook's Illustrated, she attempts to bridge the north-south cornbread divide with a compromise encompassing the best sentiments of both styles.

"Wanting to avoid a regional food fight, I figure that everyone- North or South of the Mason-Dixon line-could agree on one simple notion: Cornbread ought to be rich with the flavor of corn. A deeply browned crust also seems far from controversial, and, when it comes to texture, I attempt a reasonable compromise: moist and somewhat fluffy but neither cakey nor heavy. Could this humble dish finally unite North and South?"

Personally, I never gave much thought to cornbread until I married. I grew up in a Chicago suburb and, yes, cornbread was a sweet sticky cake that was served on occasion in some "Yankee" restaurant. There are two things I cannot stand in this kind of cornbread: chunks of corn or, especially disgusting, chunks of Jalapeno pepper. Other than that I like it well enough.

Then I married my wife, Virginia. She was nourished by my mother-in-law, Deborah; who in turn was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama and raised there until she was 13. Virginia's diet growing up consisted of what her father liked to eat. In Virginia's own words, "sweet tea, cornbread, green beans or pinto beans cooked with bacon until it was mush, round steak fried to shoe leather consistency and gallons of catsup to help choke it down."

My Mother-in-law's cornbread is one part white self-rising corn meal, one part yellow corn meal, buttermilk, vegetable oil, butter and eggs. She cooks her cornmeal in a cast-iron skillet in a 450 degree oven. No flour, no sugar. It is southern cornbread through and through which serves up flat and crusty. It is a perfect vehicle for sopping up the "soup" from a pot of beans. It also goes great alone with butter and Golden Eagle Syrup.

I like both kinds of cornbread. Get me an American flag pin and put me up on a podium; I am a cornbread "moderate". So, I am intrigued by Erika's recipe for All-Purpose Cornbread, which can be found online here, and will give it a shot.

Right away, I notice the inclusion of pureed corn. I am skeptical, but decide that as long as it was not corn chunks I would try it.

The other thing that does not jive with me is that it calls for the corn bread to be baked in a cake pan. I will break with the recipe here and use a cast iron skillet pre-heated in the oven, like Deborah does.

Deborah sets her oven to 450 degrees; Erika calls for 350. I split the difference at 400 degrees.

Speaking of Deborah, she is watching me as I mix all of the dry ingredients in a big Pyrex bowl and blend the corn and the wet ingredients in a little Cuisinart.

Deborah, does not think very highly about the inclusion of brown sugar into the mix, "I don't use sugar in my corn bread."

I fold the wet ingredients into the dry and it comes up a bit too sticky and solid. I add a half cup more butter milk and achieve a texture that I find more suitable. The batter is not sweet. Deborah won't taste it because it has raw eggs.

"Come on, Deborah, taste the batter. You would if it was a yellow cake mix."

Deborah tastes the batter, reluctantly, and confirms that it is not sweet.

The cast iron skillet is now hot. I add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to the skillet which should aid in getting the crispy crust that all southern cornbread must have.

Erika's recipe calls for a baking time from 25 to 35 minutes.

After 25 minutes, I poke a wooden chopstick into the center of the bread and it does not come up clean.

After 30 minutes the chopstick comes up clean but I think that the top of the bread is too pale yet.

After 35 minutes I still do not see the color that I am looking for but, concerned about drying the corn bread out, I remove it from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes.

THE VERDICT

I do believe that Erika has succeeded in making a compromise between northern and southern cornbread. It does have a bit more of a cake-like fluffiness than Deborah's, but not significantly so. I find that to be a plus, as Deborah's corn bread, when eaten without butter, beans or syrup can stick in the throat a little. Erika's All Purpose Cornbread did not get as satisfying of a crust however, even in the cast iron skillet. In sweetness it is much closer to southern cornbread. This is no cake. Yankees would not dig it.

I have a crock pot of beans that I have been cooking this afternoon. The All Purpose Cornbread passes the sopping up of the bean "soup" with flying colors. It also passes the butter and Golden Eagle Syrup test very well. Of course Golden Eagle Syrup would make Civil War Era hardtack taste good so that is no surprise.

So is this the miracle corn bread that will bring about a new brotherhood of man? Not a chance! Deborah had to go off to work by the time the cornbread was ready but I had my father-in-law, to try some.

"It ain't like Deborah's corn bread"

He didn't finish the piece.

No, in the end, people like what they have grown up with and corn bread sentiments run as deep and as they vary regionally. My last thoughts on Erika's All-Purpose Cornbread" is that if I want southern corn bread, I will look to my mother-in-law. If I want something sweet and cakey, I will look elsewhere.

References


http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/article.asp?docid=687
A subscription to Cook's Illustrated Online may be required to view this source in its entirety.

Note: I originally referenced this write-up from the following source: Bruce, Erika. "Rethinking Cornbread". Cooks Illustrated American Classics, 2008

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