I have officially moved onto the next recipe in my latest and greatest cookbook, Bread Illustrated. This one is called Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread and really is a snap to make. Here, take a look at my results.
This bread only takes a few minutes of preparation and between 15-20 minutes in the oven, depending on how hot it is. The original recipe calls for between 12-15 minutes, so I guess my oven runs cool. It took about 20 in all.
This is a good cornbread. The edges become crunchy from the heat and the oil and butter and the bread itself is very moist. The flavor is right on par with other cornbreads I’ve tried, so to make this in your kitchen as easily as this is a great thing.
Makes: 1 10-Inch Round Cornbread
2 1/4 Cups Stone Ground Cornmeal
1 1/2 Cups Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Half-and-Half
1/4 Cup Regular Olive Oil
5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Large Eggs
As I mentioned above, I pulled this recipe from Bread Illustrated, the same folks that run America’s Test Kitchen. While this is only the second in the book (which progresses from easy to challenging), I’m very pleased with it. Cornbread is wildly popular in the south and to follow along in a rich tradition of bread making puts a smile on my face.
Pre-Heat the Oven
Move one of your oven racks to the center position and then turn the oven on to 425 degrees.
Add the cornmeal to your 10-inch cast iron skillet and warm it over medium heat for about 5 minutes. You should begin to smell the meal toasting. Once you do, remove the pan from the heat.
Mix in Sour Cream & Half-and-Half
Add the cornmeal to a large bowl. Then, add in the half-and-half and the sour cream. Stir well.
Wipe the skillet clean with a towel and then add the oil to it. After that, add the pan to the oven for about 10 minutes. The goal here is to get the skillet nice and hot so you eventually end up with a good crust on the bread.
After the 10 minutes has passed, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter to it. Push the butter around with a fork so it melts.
Add Ingredients to Mix
With a potholder, take the hot skillet and pour almost all the butter and oil mixture into the cornbread mix. Everything except for about 1 tablespoon’s worth. Once that’s done, mix everything together well. After that, add in the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well again. Finally, add the eggs to the mix and combine until the batter is nice and smooth.
Add Batter to Skillet
With a rubber spatula, pour all of the batter into the warm skillet and jiggle around a bit until the top is smooth.
Cook in Oven
Add the skillet to your oven and let cook for about 8 minutes. At that time, turn the pan around. Let cook for another 8 minutes and check on the bread. When you see the outer edge begin to turn golden brown and the center crack, it’s finished. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting to remove the bread from the pan. You may need to use the spatula again to run around the edge.
The Final Bread
I’m pretty proud of myself for this one. It came out great and tastes even better. If you’re a cornbread fan, give this one a shot. Enjoy!