Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread

Unlike its sweet, cakey Northern counterpart, Southern cornbread is thin, crusty, and decidedly savory. Although this recipe uses adding a small amount of sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of the corn, it’s not enough to make it taste ‘sweet.’ Cornmeal mush of just the right texture is essential to this bread, making it a dense, moist, tender version. For a low carb cornbread, try this.

Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread
Makes one 8-inch skillet of bread

4 teaspoons bacon drippings
(or 1 T. melted Kerrygold butter & 1 tsp. cold-pressed canola oil)
1 cup yellow organic stone ground cornmeal
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it’s fresh)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup water (rapidly boiling)
3/4 cup organic buttermilk
1 large organic egg, beaten lightly

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set 8-inch cast-iron skillet with bacon fat (or vegetable oil) in heating oven.

Measure 1/3 cup cornmeal into medium bowl. Mix remaining cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in small bowl; set aside.

Pour boiling water all at once into the 1/3 cup cornmeal; stir to make a stiff mush. Whisk in buttermilk gradually, breaking up lumps until smooth, then whisk in egg. When oven is preheated and skillet very hot, stir dry ingredients into mush mixture until just moistened. Carefully remove skillet from oven. Pour hot bacon fat (or melted butter) from the skillet into the batter and stir to incorporate, then quickly pour batter into heated skillet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and instantly turn cornbread onto wire rack; cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.