Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread
Dry-toasting the cornmeal before mixing the batter maximizes the corn flavor in this savory bread.
Why This Recipe Works
Unlike sweet and cakey Northern versions that are better suited to the dessert table, Southern cornbread recipes contain neither sugar nor flour, making them savory enough to join the main course. We wanted to develop a proper Southern cornbread recipe that made cornbread with hearty corn flavor, a sturdy, moist crumb, and a dark brown crust that would win Northern allegiance. Finely ground Quaker cornmeal gave our cornbread the right texture, and dry-toasting the cornmeal in the oven for five minutes intensified the corn flavor. Buttermilk, which tasters preferred to milk, added a sharp tang that worked well with the corn. When it came to fat selection, a combination of butter (for flavor) and vegetable oil (which can withstand high heat without burning) worked best in our Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread recipe.