The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Corn bread

chetc's picture

Corn bread

Over the last few years on & off I try to make corn muffins or corn bread, I have purchased some good ones but never could bake a good one, either they were to cake type or too dry and fell apart, not much flavor, Wonder if any one here has conquered a good corn muffin or corn bread.




swtgran's picture

I have had the most luck with Jiffy corn bread mix.  Sorry, not totally homemade, but when I make it with that, I always get compliments.  Many times, I adjust the mix a little.  I think buttermilk gives it a better flavor and texture than plain milk.  Sometimes, I put in add ins, like mexicorn from a can and some jalapeno peppers.  Cream corn is good when you have anti pepper people.  Cheese of various types is a good addition.  Throw some sage and other herbs in and use the corn bread for stuffing.

kesserdina's picture

chet.....i've found perfect recipe(s) for corn bread or muffins in Baking Illustrated or Best Recipe.  the folks at America's Test Kitchen always seem to get it just right--Cooks Country may also have the recipe posted..i often make the muffins as 'minis' and my brother has been known to disappear with the tin!  be sure to use stone ground corn meal as it really makes a difference in texture and taste... 

Nickisafoodie's picture

I find that using finely ground corn meal turns out a softer muffin than when using course or a granular type texture. 

Use 100% stone ground if you can (Bob's Red Mill is great).  I also recommend buttermilk.

I like to let all ingredients other than leavening sit for 30 minutes (similar to autolyze in bread baking).  Then quickly whisk in the leavening, then into the muffin tins and bake.

Try 2/3 corn meal, 1/3 AP flour. 2 eggs. Add a can of creamed corn if you wish (adjust liquids back) for a more texttured muffin and if adventurous, two diced Jalepeno peppers.

And as swtgran says, Jiffy is a great standby in a pinch!  Cheers...

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

I've yet to better this recipe, and I've tried a number of variations.

This is a moist, sweet, Southern-style cornbread like you'd find from Louisiana to Georgia. If you're looking for a dry cornbread like those common from Texas to southwestern US, this is not it.

Yes, there really is a 1:1 cornmeal:sugar. I couldn't believe it at first, either.

Makes two (2) (8.5x4.5") loaf pans:

  •      225 g granulated sugar
  •      113 g melted, unsalted butter                                   
  •      8 g salt (1 teaspoon)                                         
  •      113 g eggs (~4 medium-large, where large = 33g)
  •      340 g whole milk                                       
  •      225 g ground cornmeal                             
  •      340 g AP flour                                   
  •      20 g baking powder

Makes four (4) (8.5x4.5") loaf pans:

  •      450 g granulated sugar
  •      225 g melted, unsalted butter                                   
  •      16 g salt (2 teaspoons)                                       
  •      226 g eggs (~8 medium-large, where large = 33g)
  •      680 g whole milk                                       
  •      450 g ground cornmeal                             
  •      680 g AP flour                                   
  •      40 g baking powder


  1. Mix all ingredients together until just mixed.
  2. Portion equally into buttered, baking pans.
  3. Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
pmccool's picture

My Alabama friends like sugar in their tea, not in their cornbread.  Just the opposite of this Yankee!


BettyR's picture

I think “Southern” cornbread with no sugar, depends on what part of the south you come from. I was raised in a VERY rural part of central Louisiana; we ate homemade yeast bread everyday. I never ate cornbread until I married my Texan husband and I ate some at my in-laws house…I hated it. I thought it was the most disgusting thing I had ever put in my mouth until I ate some at a restaurant that was kind of cake like. That was a cornbread I could learn to like, so I came up with my own recipe. So I guess from what I read I’m a Southern girl with a taste for Yankee cornbread. :)


wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Lafayette, LA for me, although I bailed long ago.

You never had hushpuppies or cous cous w. milk or sweet cornbread with Steen's syrup and creme?

Where in central Louisiana were they hiding you? 

BettyR's picture

along the Red River called Fifth Ward. We were very far out in the country. I was in grade school when we got electricity and shortly thereafter a telephone. I was in my teens when we got indoor plumbing...and I'm not that old. I'm only in my fifties.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Way down there at the bottom.  It's the very last one and it is very nice.  Lends itself to decorating too!  You can make it less sweet or more, all you have to do is cut back on those little 'ol raisins. 

Pretty enough to impress the toughest corn bread disliker. 

Now I haven't tried it with that new fancy blue or red corn making it patriotic and all.  But if you like your corn bread square, you can flatten it out pretty as a pancake in a cake pan and let it rise to fool people.  Some folks just can't get it thru their heads that corn bread can look different and still taste good.  If you want that deep fried crust, just lard the pan real good and smear a little on top, cover with foil good an tight.  Give it some room to grow.  It'll fry in it's own juices!  Uncover near the end so it can crispen up plenty. 

Whatever you do, no matter what recipe you decide on, don't forget, now I'll say it again; don't forget the salt!  You hear me?  Corn bread without salt is one good way to wreck a good family relationship.  They (your beloved relatives) will never (I mean never) look at you or your cornbread again without a thousand pardons.  (Believe me!)  An if you can't count to a thousand you just better hope they can't either.  My word!  Better to feed it to the chickens than risk feeding your relations Tuscanny cornbread.  Ok, said my peace.

Mini O  

(Writing with her Sumter, S.C. accent where she lived 5 full years of her tender young life.) (Who needs twitter when ya got parentheses!)


wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Alabama (and Mississippi) are the strange south. Everything there is upside down or backwards, including the education system. But there! I've gone and said too much. 

Crider's picture

"Pour just enough boiling water over the meal to scald it through and through, without making a dough or batter. Stir it well, and let it grow tepid."

--from The Picayune Creole Cookbook, second edition, 1901

BettyR's picture

Golden Corn Bread

1-1/2 cup flour
1-cup cornmeal
1/4-cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2-teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4-cup oil
1-cup milk

Put a cast iron skillet into the oven and preheat the oven and the skillet to 400°.

Mix the dry ingredients together; make a well in the middle. Add oil, eggs, and milk in the well and mix with a wire whisk. Add more milk if needed to make a medium batter.

Take the hot skillet out of the oven and put just enough oil in the skillet to swish it around good and heat the oil. Pour the batter into the hot pan and place it in the oven and bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden brown and set in the center.

Crider's picture

[This one looks challenging]

1 Quart of Cornmeal

1 Pint of Milk or Water

3 Eggs

1 Teaspoon of Salt

2 Tablespoonfuls of Yeast [fresh yeast I assume]

Beat the eggs well, and use boiling water or milk to blend the cornmeal, eggs and salt together. Then add the yeast, which you will have dissolved well in a little warm water. Set the bread to rise for three or four hours [!], and then bake in tins or in a greased pan, like a pone of bread, or make it into loaves.

--from The Picayune Creole Cookbook, second edition, 1901

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

I own that pink book too, The Picayune Creole Cookbook.

Not one single recipe I've tried from it works well (and I'm a Cajun, on the doorstep of them ole' Creoles).

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

And I've tried 3 whole recipes too ;D.

chetc's picture

Now that risen corn bread looks interesting along with the recipe that yogurt in it, hmm a few too try..





serifm's picture

My grandmother's cornbread recipe is the best I have ever eaten and is the only one I make.


3/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup flour

1 egg

2 T. oil

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk


Mis, pour into a greased pan and bake at 400 until done.


I sometimes vary this by adding 1 cup of yogurt and using 2 eggs instead of one. You can also add a small can of whole kernel corn, 1 cup grated sharp cheese and a small can of chopped green peppers to make Mexican cornbread. Anyway you make it, it's good.

chetc's picture

If I were to double this recipe, would I actually need to double the baking powder, it seems like it would be alot, please advise.



serifm's picture

I suppose you would need to double everyting. I've never done that, so I'm not sure. However, the recipe as given fills a 9 inch cake pan very nicely.



hanseata's picture

that are a total delight for an appreciative European. I sure do love cornbread! I tried several and I agree with Kessadina: so far I liked the two recipes for Northern and Southern Cornbread from the "Best Recipes" from Cooks Illustrated best.

But I will gladly try your recipes, wwiiggggiinnss, Betty and serifm.


chetc's picture

I searched the web and cannot find any corn bread recipes from Cooks Illustrated, is it possible to post thr recipe.



kesserdina's picture

chet, here is the southern-hope one of them works!

If i could only own one baking book it would be Baking Illustrated (I paid $6 for mine on

4t bacon drippings or 1 t veg. oil + 1 T melted butter

1 c yellow cornmeal, pref. stone-ground

2 t sugar

1/2 t salt

1 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/3 c rapidly boiling water

1 lg. egg, beaten lightly


preheat 450 - rack to lowe-middle

set an 8 inch cast-iron skillet (greased) heating in oven

measure 1/3 c of cornmeal into a medium bowl.  whisk the remaining cornmeal, sugar, salt, b.p. and soda together in a small bowl; set aside.

pour boiling water all at once into the 1/3 c cornmeal; stir to make a stiff mush. whisk in the buttermilk gradually, breaking up lumps until smooth, then whisk in egg.  when oven is ready and skillet very hot, stir dry ingredients into mush mixture until just moistened.  carefully remove skillet from oven.  pour hot bacon fat (or melted butter) into batter and stir to incorporate, then quickly pour the batter into the heated skilled.  bake until bread is golden, about 20 min.  remove, instantly turning cornbread onto wire rack; cool for 5 minutes, serve immediately.

(i like mine with lots of sweet butter and honey!)  cheers!














kesserdina's picture

this is golden northern cornbread from CI (Baking Illustrated)

(wouthern recipe will follow)


2 T unsalted butter, melted (plus more for greasing pan)

1 c (about 5 oz. yellow cornmeal, (preferably stone ground)

1 c unbleached all-purpose flour

2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

4 t sugar

1/2 t salt

2 lg. eggs

2/3 c buttermilk

2/3 c milk


preheat to 425 degrees, rack in center...grease 9" square pan w/ butter

whisk cornmeal, flour b.p., b.s., sugar, salt in large bowl. make well in center.

crack eggs in well and stir lightly w/ wooden spoon, then add buttermilk & milk.

stir wet and dry ingredients quickly until almost combined.  add melted butter & stir

until all ingredients just combined.  Pour into pan, bake until top is golden brown &

lightly cracked and edges have pulled away from sides, about 25 minutes.

Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes.  Cut into squares and

serve warm. (can be wrapped in foil & stored at room temp. one day.  reheat in 350

oven for 10-15 minutes.


w/ cheddar cheese:  omitting sugar, after adding butter, quickly fold in 1 cup shredded cheddar or Jack cheese.

with chiles:  omitting sugar, after adding butter, quickly fold in 1 small jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, minched, for mild..for more heat, use up to 2 jalapenos (stemmed & minced, but not seeded.

w/ bacon: 8oz. aliced bacon small dice, then fry until crisp (makes 1/2 c) drain, cool & omitting sugar, after adding butter, quickly fold in 1/2 c bacon bits










































































hanseata's picture

You very rarely experience a flop with them. I just made their focaccia - it was great.


EvaB's picture

she stopped scalding the cornmeal, sometime in the early 60's she read on the cornmel package that it didn't need to be done, and she stopped doing it, her corn bread went from fabulous to gritty and for me painful to eat!

2 cups fine cornmel, 1 c flour, 2 eggs, 1 1/4 cup water 3 or 4 tablespoons melted fat (read bacon grease here)

Scald the cornmeal and let sit, put the flour in sifter with 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tsp salt, and 3 heaping spoons of baking powder, 5 heaping tsp of milk powder and sift togehter , make a well in the flour mix, adding the eggs and beating, add the scalded cornmeal and enough of the water to make a rather stiff batter, do not overmix. Don't forget to add your melted fat, before adding the final bit of water pour into a large skillet (cast iron pan) and bake 45 minutes at 400F, she never preheated the pan, just put it into the hot oven.

Best cornbread ever.