Spicy Southern Skillet Cornbread

8 Apr


Give my father a slice of cornbread, and he will begin to retell the story of a now-old man working in the fields of Kentucky. This man, whom I know to be my great grandfather, would sit down to lunch everyday with a brown paper bag and a tall glass of buttermilk. Out of that brown paper bag he’d pull a big, golden piece of cornbread. Everyday he ate that cornbread for lunch with his glass of buttermilk, and every night, every meal, every holiday his wife would serve that same cornbread.

With a long line of Southerners going back on my father’s side, it became imperative that I as a baker learn to make a good cornbread, and I believe I have. When I set down my hot skillet on the table, steam spiraling up from the moist bread, you can still see the sparkle in my father’s eyes. A middle-aged man, the sight and smell of cornbread still brings back childhood memories to him. And when he takes a bite and tells me that my grandmother, a talented home-cook who made the most wicked baked goods, would be proud, I know that this bread is no joke. Buttery, moist, and with a subtle kick, this recipe will surely be a family favorite.

Spicy Southern Cornbread


1 stick butter

1 1/2 cups of buttermilk

2 eggs

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup flour OR 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup ivory teff, 1/4 cup oat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped hot pepper


Preheat the oven to 400*F and insert a 9″ round, cast iron skillet to heat with the oven.

In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, and salt. Whisk them well together. Melt all but one tablespoon of butter. Add melted butter to the bowl, and whisk together. Add the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and peppers. Whisk together until smooth.

Remove the hot skillet from the oven and add the remaining, unmelted tablespoon of butter. When butter is fully melted in the skillet and evenly spread, pour the batter into the skillet.

Bake the cornbread at 400*F for 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Put your broiler on for two additional minutes so that the top lightly browns.

Remove and let cool before serving.

2 Responses to “Spicy Southern Skillet Cornbread”

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