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This super quick and easy true southern cornbread is the perfect side dish for your southern fall dinner recipes. It bakes up super moist in the center with those wonderful crispy edges from the hot cast iron skillet, and just a touch of sweetness.
An Appalachian Staple
Growing up in West Virginia in the 60’s and 70’s there was a lot of cornbread. It was an inexpensive way to add to dinners that were popular in the southern coalfields. Everyone’s parents and grandparents had their own version that they swore was the best.
Every church cookbook had a few recipes that were popular within the communities. I can still remember the bake sales where churches and other organizations sold pinto beans and cornbread for fund raising.
What Type of Pan to Use
As the name would infer, I make this in my Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, I have had this one for over 20 years now. Cast iron is durable and when properly seasoned is non-stick.
A well maintained cast iron skillet will last for years. You can make this recipe in an 8 X 8 square baking pan, but if you don’t have at least one cast iron skillet, are you even southern?
I’m just kidding, but every household needs at least one cast iron skillet. They are inexpensive and last a life time. I have several that belonged to my Granddad, that were passed down to my Mom and now me.
Making the Cornbread Batter
Before you start, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the bacon fat into the cast iron skillet and place the skillet into the oven to preheat with the oven.
My Granddad always had bacon fat on the back of the counter beside the stove, and so do I. I keep mine in a Bacon Fat Container so that it’s always ready to go.
If you don’t have bacon fat or want a slightly healthier option use corn or vegetable oil. The bacon fat how ever really adds to the flavor of the crust that the cast iron skillet builds.
In a large bowl add all of the dry ingredients and give it a good which to mix them thoroughly. In a separate bowl add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk them together.
Then add the wet to the dry and mix thoroughly. I have found that a wooden spoon is the perfect tool for this job.
Remove the Cast Iron Skillet from the over once it is up to temperature. Be careful the handle will already be too hot to handle with out an oven mitt. Poor the batter into the skillet and give it a good shake to even it out.
Place into the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until center is done and the top begins to turn golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 -15 minutes in the skillet before you cut into the bread.
I hope that you enjoy this as much as my family does, please leave a comment if you like this recipe.
What to Serve Cornbread With
- Pinto Beans
- Soups and Stews
- Crumbled in a Bowl with Buttermilk