Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Momma's Cornbread

This is my momma's recipe and is perfect every time! Make sure you set your eggs and milk out to get room temp, about an hour before beginning. Here's what you need to know about cornbread.

Use this kind of cornmeal to promote the economy in San Antonio. That's why my mom used this brand exclusively, since we lived in San Antonio. If I try to buy a different brand, I hear my mother speaking to me from beyond the grave!!

Even though my mom swore by Clabber Girl baking powder, I use Rumford. It has no aluminum in the mixture and doesn't leave an aftertaste. Believe me, you'll want to spend the few extra pennies on the Rumford brand. It really makes your baked goods taste better. Besides that, it comes in a pretty red can!

Stephanie's Mom's Cornbread
Sift together:
1 C flour
3 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 T sugar

Add: 1 C cornmeal

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 C milk
1/4 C vegetable oil

Add liquid to dry ingredients, mixing only until all flour is dampened. Pour into well-greased 8"x8"x2" pan. Bake for 30 mins. Do NOT over bake.


This is the most important thing you need to know so that your cornbread has a nice, crispy crust on the sides & bottom and so that it won't stick to the pan. When you turn your oven on to preheat, pour about a tablespoon (or so...I usually end up with "or so") in your 8" x 8" square pan. Then, POP THAT BABY IN THE OVEN WHILE YOUR OVEN IS HEATING. Your pan should look something like this, minus the scratches and well-used look.

I usually pour my milk into a 2-cup measuring cup, then I add the eggs and oil and mix it all together. Don't use olive oil! It really tastes gross. Don't ask me how I know.

Here's what your mix should look like when dampened. It's okay if a bit, like in this pic, isn't totally wet.

If you want to swirl the mix around to get those little pieces wet, that's fine. Also, as you're mixing, make sure you tilt your bowl and rake your fork across the bottom of the bowl to get the dry stuff that's stuck down there on the bottom.

When ready to pour your mix into the pan, remove the hot pan from the oven and very, very gently, swirl the liquid oil around. Don't get too excited and burn yourself, though.

When you pour your batter into the pan, the oil will be displaced along the sides and into the corners of the pan. During baking, this is what creates the crispy crust. You may even hear a little sizzle. Good!

Seriously, do NOT over bake the bread. If your oven cooks hot, start checking it at about 25 mins. You'll be able to smell it baking, and it will smell heavenly! You want it nicely browned, not too pale and definitely not too brown.

When your cornbread is finished, it nicely makes 9 pieces of bread if you make 3 cuts each direction. If you have a family of 4, that's 2 pieces each, then you fight over the last piece. The center piece is the most coveted, be warned. Again, don't ask me how I know this.

Here's a side and bottom view of the finished product.

And a pic of the inside.

Served with the taco soup from my previous post.