Have you ever wondered how to make old fashion southern crispy bottom cornbread? I sure did, so I had a lesson from an ex-pert. My husbands 95 year old grandma. She has been making bread since she was nine. I still am not as good as she is, but I am working on it. This is an easy recipe and technique that results in plain ole good cornbread with that amazing crispy bottom.
I was lucky enough to be given my granny’s cast iron skillet from the 40’s. It is a Wagner Ware Sidney -0-. It is well seasoned and absolutely the best thing for making crispy bottom cornbread. I found one just like it on an Etsy shop. The used ones are not that expensive and if cared for properly will last for generations. Hum, maybe an idea for another blog post? For now,let’s make some cornbread!
Here are the ingredients. By the way, my lesson from Granny, did not consist of any measurements. So, I have tried to somewhat measure everything out for you. As you can see the ingredients are very simple and much to my surprise you don’t even have to add the buttermilk you can just add plain water. And no I did not forget the eggs.
The best way to describe the consistency of the batter is almost like a pancake batter. Definitely not too thick, but not super running either.
Now when your oven has reached at least 500 degrees and you can see that the skillet is about to glow red (just kidding) it is time to add some good ole Crisco. Taking a very thick potholder and with extreme caution, pull the cast iron skillet to the corner of the stove rake. I always add a little to much because I want to coat the sides as well as the bottom. I leave about an 1/8 of an inch in the pan and pour out the rest into a dry container that does not melt. I have a little tiny cast iron skillet for that purpose. Then put the skillet back into the center of the oven and heat the grease until it starts smoking. Check it very frequently so that it does not burn.
Once the Crisco is hot enough, pull the skillet back out to the corner and pour the batter in. To test you can drop a bit of batter in and if it sizzles, it is hot enough. You want the batter to actually fry in the bottom of that pan. This is how you get that crispy bottom cornbread. Continue to bake for about 15-20 minutes. You really do not want to bake it very long as it will be dry. When the top starts to brown, I turn the over to broil for a few minutes to speed up the browning process.
Now that it is done, you immediately turn the bread out (upside down) on a serving dish or cutting board. This one did not stick at all and came right out. You can run a knife or spatula under it to insure it comes out without tearing the bottom off. After all the crispy bottom is the best part!
Enjoy this simple crispy bottom cornbread with real butter and your favorite soup, beans, greens or chili. And when someone close to you is yearning for their grandma’a cornbread, you can try your hand at making it.
Need ideas for leftovers? Don’t just throw it out! Leftover cornbread can be used for Salmon Croquettes, Stuffed Peppers (recipe to come) and for Stuffing.
Did you know that cornbread is also for the birds? Birds and wildlife really love cornbread so be sure and share!
If you are a pro at making old fashion cornbread, please share your secrets! We would love to hear from you!