I used my basic Southern cornbread recipe, but had a question of how much cracklins to add. The Little House Cookbook and a few other recipes called for a timid couple of tablespoons. That didn't seem like enough so I kept looking. Finally I found several recipes calling for one cup, which seemed more like it.
Preheat oven to 425F. Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet containing
- 1/4 C lard or bacon grease ( I used my rendered goat fat)
- 1 1/2 C corn meal (homegrown, homeground)
- 1/2 C all purpose flour (adjust these proportions as desired)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten (my Ameraucanas lay my largest)
- 2 C buttermilk (I used 1 cup buttermilk from butter making, and 1 cup whey)
Stir together dry and wet and fold in
- 1 C cracklings
Fat - Obviously you can use whatever fat or oil that suits your fancy. Some recipes call for adding the melted fat to the batter before pouring it into the skillet. I don't do this, I just pour in the batter without adding the fat. The result is a delightfully crispy edged cornbread, almost like it's been fried.
Leavening - Many (most) cornbread recipes call for both baking soda and baking powder. Baking powder contains baking soda (the base) and cream of tartar (the acid) buffered with cornstarch, to slow down their reaction to one another. It's the chemical reaction between the base and acid that cause batter to rise. I quit using baking powder awhile ago because I always have an acidic liquid on hand: buttermilk, whey, yogurt, or kefir. I've even used a dash of the liquid from lacto-fermented veggies, like sauerkraut. For that reason, I don't need the baking powder and can skip it.
Except for the baking soda and salt, this is easily made with 100% homegrown ingredients. We ate ours with a big bowl of home canned tomatoes and okra mixed with leftover homegrown black turtle beans. I put fresh Ziggy butter on the table, but the cornbread really didn't need it.
Cracklin Cornbread © February 2013