I used to have a recipe for cornbread that I clipped from the back of a package of coarse-ground cornmeal. I've lost it! I know my old recipe called for bacon grease melted in a cast iron skillet and some bacon grease added to the batter. Some day I'll re-find or re-create that recipe. In the meantime, here's a pretty decent recipe. Note the lack of sugar. I have a major gripe against cornbread recipes that call for massive amounts of sugar. I'm not in grade school any more!
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal (course-grind, if available)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 1 T. bacon grease, melted (optional)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 T. peanut oil
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut up butter into about 6 equal-sized pieces. Place in a Pyrex bowl or measuring cup, cover loosely with wax paper, and heat in a microwave until melted.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.
- In a smaller mixing bowl combine egg, buttermilk, and melted butter and bacon grease. Add to the dry ingredients.
- Add peanut oil to an 8" x 8" pan and place in the oven for 2 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and tilt to ensure the bottom has been evenly coated with oil.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cornbread comes out dry.
A note regarding storage: I frequently make cornbread to be part of a recipe that involves spooning a soup- or broth-like mixture to be spooned on top (Beans and Cornbread, Greens and Cornbread, Chili and Cornbread). If that's the case, I store the cornbread uncovered inside a cool oven. I sometimes cut up the cornbread and set the pieces on their side. This would tend to dry out the cornbread, but since it's going to be covered in broth, that's not an issue. I mainly want to avoid mold that would occur more rapidly in a sealed environment.