Cornbread is something that everyone loves from childhood and the truth is that there are no two recipes alike. So, how to make cornbread? Some recipes call for buttermilk, others for more eggs, etc. Cornbread differs based on region but there are two main variations or styles – Northern and Southern.
What is the difference between Northern and Southern style cornbread? Northern cornbread is sweeter, lighter, and more cake-like than Southern cornbread with a finer crumb, due to more flour in the mixture. Unlike traditional Southern cornbread, the Northern variations include sugar, milk instead of buttermilk and a portion of wheat flour instead of 100% cornmeal. Having said that, we have to remind that, like all cherished national dishes, cornbread recipes are as numerous as households. Traditionally, Southern cornbread is baked in a cast iron skillet while the Northern variations are baked in a baking dish.
How to Add Flavor and Spice Up Your Cornbread Recipe?
There are many ways to add flavor to your cornbread. A variety of add-ins are available and everyone can improvise in accordance with his personal taste and preferences. Here are some suggestions:
green chili or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
grated cheddar cheese
Southern Cornbread Recipe
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
2 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 large egg, optional
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Put the bacon drippings in a 9 or 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet and put the skillet into the oven. Then preheat the oven to 400°F with the skillet inside.
Whisk together all the dry ingredients (cornmeal, baking soda, salt, sugar if using) in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg (if using) and buttermilk until combined, then mix that into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter.
When the oven is hot, take out the skillet (the handle will be hot!). Add the cornbread batter and distribute it evenly in the skillet.
Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes until the edges are beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
Let the bread rest for 10 to 30 minutes in the skillet before cutting it into wedges and serving.
Northern Style Cornbread Recipe
2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup oil
1 ¼ cup milk
3 large eggs
honey and extra butter for serving, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch pan.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium bowl mix together butter, oil, milk, and eggs.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Transfer batter to your prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan before cutting into squares and serving.
Serve with butter and honey if desired.
Jalapeno and Cheddar Cornbread Recipe
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely chopped
¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
¾ cup corn kernels, fresh or canned
1 cup whole milk
⅓ cup olive oil
¼ cup honey
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, ¼ cup jalapeños, cheese, and corn.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, olive oil, and honey. Pour the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold gently until the batter is combined and no lumps remain.
Transfer batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.