This delicious classic Southern cornbread is just begging for a bowl of chili or a plate of ribs. Made with straight cornmeal and no added sugar (as it should be!) in a cast iron skillet, this cornbread is an easy side dish for dinner.

Anytime you put the words "Southern" in front of a dish, they're likely to provoke controversy, and cornbread is no exception. Everyone I knew from the South seemed to have their own favorite way of making homemade cornbread, and every method is different.

* Ingredients :

° 1 tablespoon bacon broth
° 2 cups cornmeal or 1 1/2 cups cornmeal and 1/2 cup flour
° 1 teaspoon baking soda
° 1 teaspoon salt
° 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
° 1 large egg (optional)
° 1 1/4 cup milk
° 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

* Method :

+ Heat the pan with the bacon broth:
Place the bacon broth in a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet and place the skillet in the oven. Then preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with the pan inside. (If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use an open dutch oven or a metal cake pan.)

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet to make the best cornbread.

+ Make the mixture:
Whisk all dry ingredients (corn flour, baking soda, salt, sugar if using) in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs (if using) and curd until combined, then mix in the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter.

+ Pour the mixture into a hot frying pan and bake:
When the oven is hot, remove the pan (caution, as the handle will be hot!). Add the cornbread mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed in the pan.

Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until edges begin to turn brown and a toothpick in center of bread comes out clean.

Pour the homemade cornbread mixture into a cast iron skillet on the stovetop.
Flexible spatula smoothes cornbread mixture in cast iron skillet to show how to make cornbread.
Put the bread in the pan and then serve it:
Let the bread rest for 10 to 30 minutes in the skillet before cutting it into wedges and serving.

To store, let the cornbread cool, then remove from the pan and wrap in plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days

To avoid burning your hand because you forgot the pan was hot, I recommend placing a pot holder over the handle of the pan while the cornbread is resting, or cooling the handle down a bit with an ice cube.

Enjoy !