Skillet Cornbread

cast iron skillet cornbread

This is hands down the best tasting cornmeal. It is beautifully ground and looks more like fine sand. The flavor is pure corn. There is none of the bitterness you sometimes find in some cornmeal. Plus it is non-GMO. You could use rendered bacon fat for all or some of the butter if you are so inclined. To make this bread I like to use my square 9-inch cast-iron skillet I found on E-bay. It is hard to resist buying a unique piece when I “discover” it, now I’m on self-imposed restriction from buying any more cast iron pans online. My mother in law only found it once at a store in Maryland. I’ve searched for a retail outlet and finally located it at tribetotable.com. It is produced by the Ute nation from the base of the Sleeping Ute mountain.

1 cup Bow & Arrow yellow cornmeal
1 cup Gold Medal all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups buttermilk or milk with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoon unsalted butter or bacon fat,
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Place a 9-inch square or 12-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to preheat. Alternatively, butter a 9-inch square baking pan; you do not need to heat the square pan in the oven.
2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
3. Whisk the egg, vinegar, and milk in a small bowl until you no longer see any streaks of egg.
4. When the oven and cast-iron pan are hot melt the butter or bacon fat in the pan. When melted use a wooden spoon to mix the milk mixture into the dry mixture. Working quickly* now stir in all but a tablespoon of the melted butter or bacon fat. Combine well but do not over mix.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. As soon as it comes out of the oven, turn it out on to a wire cooling rack.

*As soon as the acid ingredients (buttermilk or vinegar) come in contact with the baking powder and soda they activate and begin to make carbon dioxide gas bubbles, these bubbles will make the product rise. The sooner your cornbread is in the oven the higher it will rise.

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie