Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread

To go all the way Southern style, one can make “cracklin’ bread,” a cornbread into which the “cracklins” or crunchy bits of pork left over in the rendering pots are mixed into the batter. Here I use rendered bacon fat.

You can use white or yellow cornmeal, but by all means choose the best quality stone-ground meal available.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup rendered bacon fat
  • cups white or yellow stone-ground cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Method

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Put the bacon fat in a seasoned cast-iron skillet and place the pan in the oven to heat while you make the batter.

Put the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix the egg, butter, and buttermilk in a separate bowl; beat until blended, then slowly stir into the cornmeal mix. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and return the skillet to the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden on top and a thin skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

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