Cornbread Recipe for Anyone Who is Afraid of Heights!
Cornbread can be as daunting a prospect as mountain climbing. Here is a cornbread recipe for anyone and it is easily changed; it can be adjusted for any item, any amount and still
Don't be rigid with your cornbread recipe
What your Mother told you is not necessarily true.
Perhaps it is because I moved out of the South while still in my twenties, perhaps it comes from marrying a Yankee (though he is a Phillie Fan) but more likely because our children are very picky eaters. Also the kids were subjected to my poor attempts at cooking which may have led to the pickiness (No! they never got food poisoning...a little nauseated but not full blown...What????) oh well, thank goodness hubby knew how to cook! Saved me from having to hire a cook! Even then, both kids' first jobs were in restaurants and our daughter is now a chef...
I heard your barely controlled snickers!
I refuse to believe I am the only one who cannot cook. Though I will admit I never really wanted to learn either. Now I love to bake but that is different than cooking and my bread is superb!
Having said that I must recant and say 'except cornbread' because for all of the kids at home years I tried without success to make cornbread taste like cake. My Dad made delicious cornbread and he used Mother's recipe so why couldn't I duplicate it as well? I don't know, still, why I couldn't make her recipe but finally I decided to just take a chance and do what my sister told me to do and then my cornbread came out blue ribbon great!
Yes, my sister could not get our Mother's recipe to come out either. I ate sisters cornbread on one of my spend the night trips to her house and then I tackled my 'own' cornbread recipe!
Voila! I can make cornbread! Now, where are those kids?
Do you love to torment your kids with barely edible cornbread?
Do you feed them bad cooking in order to see if they are paying attention?
Ready To Try Southern With Runaway Daughters Twist?
For all of you that are open mouthed over the above comment we only ran away momentarily and sister is still back there so that ought to count for something.
Every package of cornmeal has a cornbread recipe on it. It is an all American comfort food and is in the majority of recipe books. Seems as if every summer the magazines have a cornbread recipe and if you ask a friend or family member I am sure they will share their recipe with you.
This article is not really about the best cornbread recipe. It is more of a guideline on what you can do and use to make your cornbread "blue ribbon great."
The first thing you need to do is go to your kitchen and sit on the counter. You know, the way you did when you were a kid and the way your kids do now? Or the way you see in your mind's eye your kids doing...if your kids are, like ours, in their own homes. This will ensure that all the misconceptions you have about this delicious bread will be gone forever.
Now that your mindset is rolled back to the era of the rebel in you let's begin.
What does cornbread contain? Flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and shortening. That is it's backbone and anything you add from there is like icing. So it is imperative that your backbone be of the highest quality. Use bread flour and sift it. Buy cornmeal that has not been processed to death. Stone Milled Cornmeal is tastier and cooks better.
OK. I am hearing the snickers turn into guffaws!
Yes, cornmeal is at the end of the corn processing chain but there is a difference in taste between different brands of cornmeal! Once you really get into cornbread it will be clearer. And once you let your culinary self fly free you will be experimenting with different types of both cornmeal and flour!
As far as the leavening ingredient you can experiment but I bet you will come back to shortening. I know! It flies in the face of all things organic. But go on, try to substitue butter or pressed oil...when you cannot stand the taste you will reach for the blue can with red letters. Hey! If this is the only thing you make with saturated shortening you are doing good!
Now the bases are covered and you have your corn pattie. It is time to decide on the other ingredients. Personally, when my sister said I was free to play with the base recipe I went with the what the h__ __ __, put it all in there attitude! Only problem with that is you may end up with two toned results.
What is two toned? That is where the outside is dark and crispy and the inside is raw dough. But two toned sounds palatable don't you think? I mean, raw dough won't really make the kids sick enough to miss school...What??? Geez you guys...oh allright, give it to the birds if that's the way you feel!
Disclaimer: The kids ate around the raw part...most of the time. When they were starving what they ate was totally up to them! And you can bet, when Precious Grandaughter came along you can bet she got only the cooked thoroughly, end part of the cornbread! No way was I having her tummy upset! 'Sides, her Dad, our son, would not have it any other way. No sense of adventure, that one...I am only playing!!! Our son had to be adventurous, he was a jarhead! USMC serves really good food as well; not that the food was a reason for his joining...I don't think...
Now what about wet ingredients? You have to decide how many eggs, how much milk as well as the kind of milk and other wet ingredients you want to add to your cornbread.
How many eggs? Do you really need eggs for cake cornbread? I think so, but again, this is your recipe. I find that if you take the total amount of the dry ingredients (in cups) and use the same amount of eggs you will be safe. In other words, if the total amount of dry ingredients comes to two cups, using two eggs will be perfect. Play with it and see what you like.
Personally, I believe that using buttermilk is the only way to make this bread but again, even out of the south, I remain Southern. I know; it may be an inherant flaw that I am unable to adapt 100%.
I wait in anticipation for your scathing remarks :)
Also, as far as the kind of buttermilk I go with organic, not because I am really healthy minded but because it comes closest to the buttermilk you can buy if you live next to a small farm. Those are all over the south and you can buy eggs there as well as buttermilk and the quality is unsurpassed! Once you leave the farm next door, as hubby and I have, you have to buy organic to find that thick, delicious buttermilk.
Note; the farm next door is not only in the South, but I haven't lived in a place where there were other farms next door.
Back to other wet ingredients:
My sister uses mayonaise, I like sour cream and even tried yoghurt for the next part. There is total freedom of baking license as far as this is concerned. As far as the amount I use two heaping tablespoons, my sister only uses one, it is really up to you how much to add. Just remember not to use too heavy a hand or it will not cook all the way through and two toned will result! And we do NOT want to go there again, do we?
That does it for the wet ingredients and now a days that is all I add to cornbread. The reason, however, is that precious daughter in law is not with us. She loved my cornbread, bless the starving thing! And if I added cheese and chopped green chilies she really ate it all up! Hubby, on the other hand, likes it plain so I stop at the sour cream and he is happy.
As far as the amount of cheese just play with it, the only thing I made sure I did was not to add it until I was done stirring. That way I could gauge how thick it made the batter and how it felt when I stirred it.
Green chilies turns it into southwest style and onions gives it a sweet taste. Whatever you add is totally fine. it is important that you embrace the concept that your Mother made cornbread her way and it is perfectly fine to make it your own! You are not relegated to only one recipe for this wonderful food.
Oh I feel so free! Like a bird in flight I travel the 'country of cornbread recipes' in hopes I will find another that daughter in law will love!