Growing up, we never had bread at every meal...no basket in the middle of the table of warm dinner rolls, or a loaf of hot and crusty French bread. If we had any kind of bread on the table it was golden cornbread, cut in wedges from a pie pan! I remember it all so well. Early dinners on Sundays were always at Granny and Grandpa's house in Altadena, California. It was a recipe that Granny made every week. Timed perfectly, she'd take it straight from the oven, as we were washing our grimy little hands before we sat down for supper!
Cornbread was our take on bread. Never sweet like you often see served at restaurants. Sweet Honey cornbread? "No no no...that's a sin" she'd say! Albers, was the brand she always had in the cupboard. I remember so clearly, the orange colored box, with the dark blue border at the top. Front and center was a photo of a golden ear of corn! Today, that's the only brand I use! Although I'm a fan of sweet and savory...not here, though! Not when it comes to my cornbread! A true southerner, Granny only made cornbread with a grainy texture, sunny bright and golden. If it was rich and heavy with sweetness, you'd lose the goodness when sopping up the pot liquor from collard greens and the smoky ham hock broth from the black eyed peas. That my friends would be a sin!
Homemade Golden Cornbread...delicious at a picnic with your BBQ Ribs, alongside a bowl of chili or like my husband, a slice for dessert, straight from the pan! You could even start out your day with it in the morning with a little puddle of honey! It was a hit at our Independence Day Gr8 Dinner several years ago! Enjoy it all year long!
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons melted bacon drippings, or butter or vegetable shortening
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar, (optional)
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- Set oven to 425° F.
- Put 2 Tablespoons bacon drippings in an 8″ square pan or round cast iron skillet.
- Place pan in oven until the drippings sizzle. Tilt pan to cover bottom and sides evenly. Work quickly and be careful that it doesn’t get too hot or begin to smoke.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar (if using) until well combined, 2 or 3 times if necessary. If you like sweeter cornbread, you can add more sugar.
- Stir in cornmeal.
- In a separate bowl, mix egg lightly with a fork.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add egg, milk and remaining bacon drippings. Beat for 1 minute.
- Pour batter into hot pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve hot.
- To make Buttermilk Cornbread, substitute the milk with buttermilk.
- To make Cornbread Muffins, fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- The Gr8 gals like to keep our bacon drippings for future recipes (adds Gr8 flavor!). After cooling, pour or scoop the drippings into a glass or ceramic container with a tight lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and up to 9 months in the freezer. If you do not want to keep this flavorful grease, once cooled, pour or scoop into foil and throw into the trash. Do not pour your bacon drippings down the drain.