Rather than a yeast bread recipe, which I give in the Basic Recipes section, I have included here a quick bread, cornbread. Once you have made cornbread, you will appreciate its versatility. It is the perfect accompaniment to spicy stews and gumbos, and it is excellent at breakfast with eggs any style and crisp bacon. You can add grated cheese to the mixture, or chopped chillies, crumbled bacon or fried onions.


  • 275 g (9 oz) yellow cornmeal
  • 125 g (4 oz) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • scant teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 350 mls (12 oz) buttermilk or soured milk
  • 3 free-range medium eggs
  • 50 mls (2 oz) melted butter, bacon fat, olive or groundnut oil


Sift the dry ingredients together, and beat the milk and eggs.

Use 15 mls (½ oz) of the fat to grease a 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin, or cast-iron pan. Put this in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed, and stir in the remaining fat. The mixture will still be lumpy rather than smooth, and that is how it should be. Using a food processor tends to overwork the batter, and, for this reason, I prefer to make the mixture by hand.

Pour the batter into the hot greased pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown with the bread shrinking from the edge of the pan. A skewer poked into the centre will come out clean when the cornbread is cooked.

Break into wedges with a non-metal spatula and serve hot.