Family Tested & Approved
buttermilk can use regular milk
bacon grease optional
vegetable oil or shortening
If you can't buy self rising flour and cornmeal in your area add 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the all purpose variety.
If you can buy the self rising buy some for cornbread it just makes it much better.
Preheat oven to 400. Place oil or shortening in a iron skillet preferably or a 8x8 baking dish and place in the oven to get hot.
If you are using the teaspoon of bacon grease add it to the skillet also. It's just enough to give the cornbread that good bacon flavor but you don't have to cook it in all bacon grease.
To mme there is nothing better than shortening for cooking cornbread in a iron skillet and the oil works well also.
Be very careful if you are using a iron skillet that grease can pop. Add about a tablespoon of the hot oil or shortening to the batter.
The batter will be well combined but still have a few lumps. Don't over beat it because it makes your cornbread crumbly.
Pour the batter into that hot grease in the pan. It should sizzle. This is how you get that crispy crusty outside and tender cake like inside that is key to good cornbread.
The iron skillet is perfect for this but you can get almost the same effect in a glass baking dish also. Iron just conducts the heat so much better.
Notice how the grease comes up over the edges of the cornbread. If it doesn't you don't have enough in your pan. Don't skimp on it.
Place back into the oven on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes. A sharp knife inserted in the center should come out clean.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes. You can cut it out of the pan or if it's baked in iron skillet you can flip it out whole onto a plate and cut it in wedges.