To some people, cornbread is not only a side dish, it is an American heritage. The golden brown exterior combines with buttery moist fruity interior making cornbread a perfect dessert or even a side dish for almost any meal. You can serve it with butter for breakfast, crumbled into soup for lunch, or serve as a side with pork chops for dinner.
Northern and Southern Cornbread
Native Americans were the first to make cornbread long before the Europeans set foot on the Americas. Corn pone – the earliest version – was made from a simple batter of cornmeal, water and salt and cooked in an iron skillet directly on heat.
Over time, people enhanced the basic pone by adding buttermilk and baking soda. Then, egg, butter and baking powder made their way into the cornbread mixture.
Cornbread is considered a staple in many American homes. Each person has a different opinion about their favorite type. Is it sweet or savory? Do you need to add sugar or cheese and bacon? It can be confusing when it comes to the original cornbread recipe.
This iconic Southern cornbread uses a significant amount of sugar and butter while the Northern version sometimes uses none at all. Aside from being sweeter than Northern cornbread, the Southern bread calls for more eggs, which produces a buttery finish and a cakier texture. The Northern style, on the other hand, is dense, has a much stronger corn taste, and is usually flavored with bacon grease, making it a perfect side for barbecues.
What is cornmeal?
Many beginners may have this question in mind: “Is cornmeal and corn flour the same?” The answer is no. Cornmeal is dried and ground corn, and the texture is a medium to fine grind, while corn flour is more finely ground.
How can we make a moist cornbread?
A perfect cornbread has an interesting texture: spongy and moist on the inside and just crumbly enough on the exterior. The right balance of cornmeal and flour (1:1) gives the bread the sponge structure while also allowing it to crumble. If you have never combined eggs in cornbread, now’s a fine time to try. Eggs add texture and will help the other ingredients stay together.
Do I need to use cast iron?
The cornbread recipe works best when you use a cast iron skillet coated with fat. This helps to brown the crust, and since the pan is already hot, the cornbread is quickly cooked.
What Can Be Served With Cornbread?
To be honest, cornbread tastes amazing with a myriad of options. You can read the basic recipe and try to expand your culinary experience with new combinations. Here we’ve come up with some of our favorite accompaniments that go with cornbread.
Chili: chili is the most common side to eat with cornbread for good reason. The spicy flavor of chili goes perfectly with the sweet taste of cornbread, mixing in the way that will surely surprise and satisfy your taste buds. If chili isn’t your cup of tea, other dishes such as beans or stews work just as well.
Milk: if you want a healthy start to the day, a glass of warm milk with cornbread is a great combination for breakfast. Don’t just pair it as sides, you can try to dip cornbread in milk. The crunchy bread and creamy milk is truly delightful.
BBQ: instead of roasted vegetables or mashed potato, you can try some cornbread as a side dish. There’s a wonderful contrast between the sweet yet savory taste of the bread and the smoky and spicy flavors of BBQ sauce. This combination assures you of a hearty meal and gives you all the energy you need for a hard day’s work.
Ice cream: in some cuisines like Mexican, people serve cornbread as dessert. Our handpicked flavors are vanilla, corn, and mango. However, you don’t have to restrict your choices when it comes to ice cream. Go wild and enjoy cornbread with any of your favourite ice cream flavors. It’ll be delicious in any way!
Butter and jam: like any other bread, you can decide to give cornbread a treat with butter and the jam of your choice. The butter glazes the crispy exterior nicely and makes an amazing accompaniment to any heavy dish. A tip is to use low-sugar jams which let the natural sweetness of the bread come to life.
Cornbread is a versatile dish. You bake and then serve it as either a breakfast or dessert. To meet the recommended daily intake of calories, we serve our cornbread with a cup of milk.
|Recipes||Course||Calories (kcal)||Saturated Fat (g)||Sodium (mg)|
|Cornbread||Breakfast, Main Course||455||7||246|
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Heat the butter in a cast iron skillet over low heat until melted. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In another big bowl, whisk buttermilk. Blend in the water. Then add eggs, mix together well to combine. Pour in slightly less than half the amount of the cooled melted butter.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Whisk until combined. Avoid over-mixing. Then stir in dried cranberries and sliced almonds.
- Pour the batter into the cast iron pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until it is golden brown on top and the center is cooked through. Use a brush to coat honey over the top of the bread.
- Serve warm.
- The key to making good cornbread is to use the right ingredients and kitchen tools. The cast iron skillet should be preheated in the oven with butter so when the batter hits the pan, it causes the edges of the bread to brown.
- If you don’t have a buttermilk blend or buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing 1.5 cups of milk with either 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Cornbread can be made a day or two ahead of time and kept at the room temperature if it is covered with foil or plastic wrap.