The North thinks it knows how to make cornbread, but this a gross superstition. – Mark Twain
In Southern kitchens, sweetened cornbread is a baking blasphemy
Southerners have long argued — passionately and righteously — that sugar has no business in cornbread.
Of course, there are many things that can be made with cornmeal and sugar, but be honest with yourself and call it dessert. Cornbread is something else.
Beyond the “no sugar ever” rule, there are other strict requirements for making Southern cornbread:
• A preheated cast-iron skillet.
• No flour.
• High quality, stone-ground cornmeal, preferably white.
4 tablespoons bacon grease or oil, divided
2 cups stoneground cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Add 2 tablespoons bacon grease or oil to 10-inch skillet, preheat for 5-7 minutes.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Whisk eggs, buttermilk and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil or bacon grease in a separate bowl.
Add wet to dry and mix until just combined.
Do not over-mix.
Carefully remove skillet from oven and swirl oil to coat bottom and sides. Pour in batter.
Place skillet in the center of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.