Families have been passing down cornbread recipes from one generation to the next for centuries. Just about everyone has a memory tied to this historic bread and an opinion about how it should taste. Some recipes call for added sugar to create a sweetened version. Traditional Southern cornbread recipes didn’t include sugar. If you couldn’t grow the ingredients yourself, they didn’t make it into the mixing bowl. Instead of butter or oil, cooks used bacon grease. But no matter what recipe you prefer, nothing says home like fresh cornbread straight out of the oven.
Cornbread recipes are seldom complex. Sure, there are more difficult recipes, but historically, traditional cooks kept things simple. The ingredients are those that most people keep on their pantry shelf: yellow or white cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk, and eggs. Sweet versions call for sugar. Some recipes, especially those for Southern-style cornbread, use buttermilk instead of regular milk. Buttermilk adds a tanginess to the cornbread. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, use regular milk, and add a bit of lemon juice or white vinegar to it to create a substitute. Some cooks use water to thin out sour cream or plain yogurt to create the same consistency as buttermilk.
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