Southern Cornbread

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September 4, 2008 by Erica

4 tsp bacon drippings, or 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp table salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup water, rapidly boiling
¾ cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set 8-inch cast-iron skillet with bacon fat (or vegetable oil) in heating oven.

Measure 1/3 cup cornmeal into medium bowl. Mix remaining cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in small bowl; set aside.

Pour boiling water all at once into the 1/3 cup cornmeal; stir to make a stiff mush. Whisk in buttermilk gradually, breaking up lumps until smooth, then whisk in egg. When oven is preheated and skillet very hot, stir dry ingredients into mush mixture until just moistened.

Carefully remove skillet from oven. Pour hot bacon fat (or melted butter) from the skillet into the batter and stir to incorporate, then quickly pour batter into heated skillet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and instantly turn cornbread onto wire rack; cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

from America’s Test Kitchen

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