“What do you think, Josephine? Mrs. Myles has stopped on her ride this morning and brought us eggs and milk! Can you believe it?! I’m just so grateful I could burst into song.”
“You don’t say? Why that is a boon and answer to prayer. I tell you truthfully, Miss Martha, I prayed this morning that I might have one egg to make up a cornbread for us. Now, I am beyond belief and shame on me.”
Excerpt: SHAW POINT by Karen Lopez
Cornbread is a southern tradition.
Determined to survive and carve out a life on the abandoned farm, the ladies at Shaw Point simplified their dining comestibles. Below is a classic version of cornbread often baked in a cast iron skillet. It is just as delicious baked in a pan or even as muffins. A staple of southern kitchens, cornmeal would have been easy to transport on their journey from Roanoke, VA.
These are a few prep notes.
If you use a cast iron skillet, slide it into the oven while it preheats. You can melt your butter by putting it in the skillet during preheat. Use a course or medium grind cornmeal for the best texture. Something similar to Bob’s Red Mill medium grind, for example. Also, you can use a dehydrated buttermilk powder, regular buttermilk, or one tablespoon of vinegar in one cup of fresh milk. If using a buttermilk powder, stir the cornmeal and powder together first and then add the appropriate amount of water slowly, blending as you do.
Get my recipe below!
Makes 8 servings
1 C cornmeal
1 1/3 C buttermilk (you can use dehydrated)
1 C Flour
1/8 – 1/4 C sugar
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 C butter melted
Combine meal and buttermilk and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 375 F and melt butter in 8 inch cast iron skillet or 9x9inch baking pan (you will pour the melted butter into your batter, but this is a great way to grease the pan)
Mix flour, sugar, salt, soda and baking powder and add to cornmeal/milk mixture along with beaten eggs and melted butter. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Transfer to prepared skillet or pan and bake until golden brown (toothpick in center will be clean) about 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Note: if you prefer to make cornbread muffins, reduce the buttermilk to about 1 cup, divide the batter by about ¼ cup portions into muffin tin wells and bake 20 minutes. After 20 minutes test for doneness and cook additional one to two minutes as necessary. Will make about 1 dozen muffins.
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