This is a basic baked cornbread that is suitable for serving as is or as the base for Southern Cornbread Dressing. It can also be "dressed up" with the addition of other ingredients such as chopped jalapeno and finely chopped onions as a side for chili.
Place bacon dripping in 10 inch cast iron (preferred) or other metal baking dish on top of stove with heat turned to medium high to heat the pan and melt the drippings. This preheating will result in a wonderful bottom crust.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk dry ingredients together thoroughly.
Beat egg and combine with milk and melted butter in that order. You do not want scrambled eggs in the butter.
Gently combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients only until thoroughly moistened. Do NOT whip as this will develop gluten in the flour and produce a tough end result.
Pour batter into the hot cast iron skillet and place in oven. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden crust on top and center tests done with a toothpick.