Corn Bread 101
When I married Billy, he came through the door asking me to learn how to bake three specific things that his mom, Frances, makes. The first request was to learn how to make her pancakes. However, Frances lost me as soon as she separated egg whites and whipped them up - FOR PANCAKES! I'm far too sleepy in the morning for those kinds of maneuvers.
I did, however learn the second recipe: Classic Pound Cake. Wow! Was that worth the effort. MMMM.
As for the third request, I tackled my mother-in-law's corn bread. Since it's PRACTICALLY football season, I thought now was the time to slide this your way.
The first thing you MUST have if you're going to make this is a cast iron skillet (8-9 inch). If you don't own this type of skillet, pick one up the next time you're in Target or TJ Maxx - any brand will do! After that, there are only six ingredients.
Here's what you need:
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- 1 Cup Aunt Jemima Corn Meal Mix
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten slightly
- 1 Cup milk (approximately)
First, put three tablespoons of cooking oil in a small cast iron skillet. Frances has been known to use bacon drippings, but I have an aversion to the sound of arteries hardening, so I stick with the oil.
While you mix the batter, preheat the oven to 400 degrees WITH THE PAN IN THE OVEN. This is a critical step. The oil needs to warm up with the pan in order for the corn bread batter to get the crusty bottom.
Stir together the dry ingredients. Then add the egg and slowly add the milk while you whisk it together.
The list of ingredients say "about" a cup of milk. I usually skip the measuring part and add just enough milk so that the batter has the consistency of cake batter. The finished batter should look like this:
As soon as your oven signals that it's reached 400 degrees, take out the skillet and pour in the batter. Don't panic if the oil comes over the side of the batter. This is normal.Bake for 30 minutes. I pull out the butter at this point so that it reaches room temperature.
Your bread is done when you can dip a knife in the middle and it comes out clean. Eventually you'll recognize the golden color that says that it's ready.