Self Rising Cornmeal Mix
Self Rising Cornmeal Mix Recipe
Self Rising Cornmeal Mix seems to be disappearing from grocery store shelves and is becoming increasingly difficult to find.
But don't despair, because you can make your own self rising cornmeal mix from a few simple ingredients that you already have on hand. I will also tell you where you can buy pre-made mix online, but you won't need to after you read this recipe.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Combine and sift all ingredients together. Yields one cup of self rising cornmeal mix.
Tips & Warnings: Authentic Southern Cornbread
It is important to note that authentic Southern Cornbread often does not have flour in it. This is still a case for argument. Southern cornbread is traditionally made from stone-ground white cornmeal, rather than yellow cornmeal. Depending on what state you are from, flour may be in your family cornbread recipe.
When using white cornmeal, traditional cornbread becomes yellow after whole eggs are added into the baking mixture. White cornmeal can be difficult to find depending on where you live, but it is available from brands like White Lily and Aunt Jemima on Amazon.com.
Cornbread should also be made with buttermilk rather than regular milk. Southern cooks also make frequent use of leftover bacon grease rather than butter to grease their skillets before baking. This adds to the flavor and makes the edges very crispy.
Some Southern cooks also note that traditional cornbread does not have any sugar. Personally, I grew up on cornbread out of a box from Jiffy, and this cornbread did have a small amount of sugar in it. I know it's not traditional, but sometimes I will add some sugar into the recipe before baking. I typically add no more than 2 Tablespoons, because I don't want it to be noticeably sweet. Authentic Southern cornbread is more savory than it is sweet, and it has a much higher tendency to crumble when eaten. Northern cornbread is more cake-like and uses flour with sugar added.
It is best to bake cornbread in a cast iron skillet with at least two tablespoons of melted butter in it before the batter mixture is added. You can melt the butter in a cast iron skillet on a stove top in just a few seconds before pouring the cornbread batter into the skillet.
The cast iron skillet can be placed directly into any oven for easy baking. This is the preferred method for baking cornbread in the South, and has caught on to other regions of the U.S. as well. I used to follow the Jiffy box instructions and made cornmeal muffins in a muffin tin. I taught myself how to bake when I got older, and now I know that it's much better to bake it in a cast iron skillet.
Although optional, whole kernel corn may be cut from freshly washed ears of corn and added into the cornbread baking mix before placing into the oven. This adds an unexpected and delicious flavor to the cornbread.
In parts of Texas, cooks influenced by Mexican cuisine have added jalapeño peppers to their cornbread recipes. Cornbread variations also include cheddar, garlic, salsa, and berries.
For years, I made homemade cornbread with a combination of corn flour and wheat flour rather than cornmeal. It just never seemed to taste quite as good as the recipe from the Jiffy box. I wanted dense, crumbly, savory cornbread and recipes from Joy of Cooking and Better Homes and Gardens just weren't cutting it. After searching extensively online for authentic Southern recipes, I quickly realized the problem, and found that I needed to use cornmeal only when baking the best cornbread. I will post a follow-up recipe for an authentic Southern corn bread recipe to supplement this article from my family's recipe box.
How Do You Make Cornbread?
I love to bake cornbread, and I've been searching for the best Southern cornbread recipe for years. I am always seeking feedback and baking tips from fellow cornbread enthusiasts.
What is your favorite recipe for making cornbread? Do you use a recipe that was passed down for generations, or are you looking for an alternative to the Jiffy box mix? Please share your experiences and cornbread tips in the comments!