If you love a light sweet, crisp-edged, robust cornbread where you can really taste the corn, this recipe for Southern Skillet Cornbread is for you! It’s perfect with a steaming bowl of chili!
Baking With Cornmeal
For the Native Americans, using ground corn as ‘flour’ was commonplace. When European settlers came to the New World and began learning cooking techniques from the Native Americans, they discovered the use of this ground corn, and began incorporating it into breads that they had been familiar with back home in Europe.
From these colonial days, even into the 20th century, cornbread has been a staple bread of the Southern United States.
Why Cook Southern Skillet Cornbread?
Ok, ok, it’s not just the fact that the bright, yellow cornbread looks so cool and rustic when served in a cast iron skillet.
The trick to making skillet cornbread is to preheat your skillet. Cast iron holds heat VERY well, so when you preheat your skillet, magical things happen.
Trust us. The instant that cornbread batter hits the hot oil in the skillet, it starts to sizzle. (And we do a little happy dance because we know the cornbread is going to be AWESOME!)
That sizzling means that the crust of your cornbread is cooking. It’s cooking fast and it’s cooking in hot oil. Which means this cornbread will have super crispy crust.
Sure, you could get a super crisp crust by baking your cornbread longer, but then the whole bread is dry and over-baked. Cooking the cornbread in a hot skillet means that the crust is crisp and the inside is moist.
Our Southern Skillet Cornbread Recipe: AKA PERFECT Cornbread
This recipe for Southern Skillet Cornbread was originally a dear friend’s mother’s signature recipe.
We adjusted it slightly, replacing butter for her oil and reducing the sugar, just a pinch. (We don’t like a super sweet cornbread, but for those of you do, go ahead and double the sugar called for below (like Pam did in her original recipe).)
But, even with our slight adaptations, we still give her credit for giving us the perfect cornbread.
And, perfect it is.
Tim and I had been on the search for our perfect cornbread for quite some time. The requirements? It had to be slightly sweet. Crisp around the edges. Moist throughout, but satisfyingly crumbly. Simple and comforting in flavor. And (maybe most importantly) grainy enough in texture that you could identify the corn meal.
Yeah, we’re a bit picky when it comes to some things. Cornbread is one of them.
A few recipes came close. And then, we were told about Pam’s famous cornbread. We tried it and chewed in stunned silence.
It is cornbread perfection.
Try it for yourself and let us know if you agree.
If you love a light sweet, crisp-edged, robust cornbread where you can really taste the corn, this recipe for Southern Skillet Cornbread is for you! It's perfect with a steaming bowl of chili!
Yield: 1 (10 inch) cast iron skillet
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 c milk
- 4 Tbsp + 1 tsp unsalted butter, melted (divided)
- 1 1/2 c corn meal
- 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/8 c sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 450F. Put a teaspoon of melted butter in your cast iron skillet, swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Place skillet in the oven while it preheats.
- In a small bowl, mix egg, milk, and 4 Tbsp melted butter.
- In a medium bowl, mix corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add wet ingredients and stir until just moistened.
- Carefully remove hot cast iron skillet from the oven. Pour the batter into the skillet and return to oven.
- Bake at 450F for 15-20 minutes. The cornbread is done when a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with only a few dry crumbs clinging to it.
- Let cool slightly before serving.