Have a favorite recipe you’d like to share? Mail it, along with contact information, to the Kingsport Times-News, c/o Jessica Fischer, at 701 Lynn Garden Drive, Kingsport, Tenn. 37662 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Kip Kennedy
2 cups yellow cornmeal (use white if that's what you have on hand but expect less flavor)
2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda (omit if you use regular milk rather than buttermilk)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
1 egg (optional)
Dash of black pepper
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (more or less) Or whole milk
5 Tbsp. melted butter or 3 to 4 Tbsp. of bacon drippings (you can substitute corn oil, cooking oil if preferred)
Preheat the oven to 400° degrees F. Prepare the 10-inch iron skillet by rubbing the cold skillet with a piece of fat back or streaked salt pork.
Place skillet in oven with 2 Tbsp. of corn oil or other seasoning to heat to temperature as the oven warms. Roll the skillet to disperse the oil until it completely covers the bottom of the skillet or use a paper towel to coat the interior sides of the skillet with the bacon grease or corn oil (taking caution not to burn yourself if you heat the skillet first). Place the skillet in the heated oven while preparing the following batter.
Sift the corn meal If using a stone ground meal as some milling procedures leave large pieces of broken corn in the meal which may or may not be palatable. This sifting is a matter of personal choice.
In a medium size bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Add about 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and stir.
Remove skillet from oven and slowly add about 1 or 2 tablespoon of the hot oil (bacon grease) from the skillet into the batter, stirring well. (Use a pot holder to pick up the skillet!!) The skillet and bacon grease should be very hot but not smoking. Sprinkle the inside of the skillet with about 1 teaspoon (dry) cornmeal and return to oven.
Watching the consistency of the batter, carefully add remainder of buttermilk while stirring.The consistency of the cornbread batter should look like a thick pancake mix.This may require a little more or less of the remaining buttermilk.
If the mix is too thick, add more buttermilk. If the mixture is too thin, add more cornmeal.If your cornbread comes out dry next time add more buttermilk.
Remove the skillet from oven and pour the batter in the skillet. Return the skillet to the pre-heated oven and start timing.
Bake at 400° degrees F. for approximately 25 minutes. Time will vary according to the consistency of the batter you end up with and your oven as ovens vary. Watch the cornbread after about 20 minutes and cook until the top begins to brown. Record your baking time.
Remove the cornbread from the oven and flip the cornbread over in the skillet then continue baking another 5 minutes (this will add a little more browning to the top, which is now on the bottom).
Rinse the cooled skillet with running water and a dishcloth with no soap. Dry the skillet with a towel. Rub the skillet lightly with a piece of fat back and store in a dry place. Oil has a tendency to get sticky over time but the fat back does not.
Cutting cornbread seals the pores making it sticky. It is best if you simply break off serving size portions from the loaf. Want it neater then use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the cake.
Tip: If you are using a skillet that is not well seasoned the cornbread may stick when you attempt to flip it over. Run a table knife completely around the inside wall of the skillet while gently shaking. This will usually free the bread for you to flip it over. Protect your hand...it's hot! If the bread does not come out easily, do not try to turn it over.comments powered by Disqus