We love corn bread down here in the south. We also love our cast iron cookware as Lodge is the the oldest cookware company in the United States making cast iron. Since it’s our home state, well, we’re big fans.
We do a lot of cast iron cooking here at the ranch here in the smokies. Today I am going to share our favorite corn bread recipe (modified) and how to prepare it in a wood cook stove.
For those who are inquiring, we have a Vermont Bun Maker wood cook stove that is wrapped in soap stone that we use for our cast iron baking.
We will be using that heat source for our favorite corn bread recipe today.
I use the Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook for many of my recipes but I tend to modify them for my pans and my purposes.
Here is the recipe I deviate from LOL to get best results from my cast iron.
What I have found in this cook book is that each recipe requires a certain type of cooking implement. Thus, over the course of the recipes you need quite a few different Lodge products. I modify the recipes to get best flavor for my cooking utensils. The first thing about this recipe is that I double the entire recipe for use with my 10 inch cast iron skillet. Second, it is way too salty as is.
This recipe calls for 1 tsp. salt (which would be doubled) as I do for a 10 inch pan and then also calls for bacon drippings. I have cooked this recipe every which way from Sunday and can tell you, bacon drippings plus the full salt portion is WAY TOO salty (and we love salt in this family).
I do it one of two ways, I use the bacon drippings and no salt added, or I do half the portion of salt and use lard, NOT bacon drippings. Even if you cut the salt portion in half and do bacon drippings, it’s still too salty. I’ve practiced the recipe enough at smaller and smaller quantities to get the right proportions to this recipe.
The second thing I do is I add a tad more buttermilk to the recipe. This makes the corn bread slightly lighter and less dense. We like the flavorful nature of this recipe but the density can make it too heavy. The combination of right salt and right texture makes it perfect.
The third thing that is key is knowing how to use your wood cook stove and how to use your cast iron. First, we get our wood stove going early in the morning and have it going to heat up our room, we then switch over the damper handle so that heat starts circulating around the baking box at the bottom of the stove. We let that heat up nicely. Then it is important to have half of the amount of lard in the pan and have the pan heating up in the baking oven while you are preparing the ingredients. You will want the pan nice and warm when you put the ingredients in.
The cook time also changes for several reasons. One, you have doubled the recipe to fit a 10 inch pan and two, you are using a wood cook stove. I keep an oven thermometer in the base of the wood cook stove as the temp. gauge that is attached isn’t all together accurate. When the thermometer says 400 degrees, I put the skillet with ingredients in to cook. The cook time is 35 minutes. You will tell when it is done because the top is a beautiful golden brown.
So here are the ingredients to my modified recipe and photos below.
MODIFIED THIS AIN’T NO YANKEE CORNBREAD RECIPE (BY LODGE)
Cook Time: 35 minutes in wood cook stove
Temperature: 400 degrees with internal thermometer that is accurate
Skillet Used: 10 inch frying pan
4 tablespoons lard (1/2 goes into pan when heating up and half goes into recipe)
2 cups white corn meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
- Place 2 tablespoons in 10 inch cast iron skillet and place skillet to heat up in wood cook stove.
- Whisk together cornmeal, baking powder and salt in bowl.
- Whisk together eggs, buttermilk and other 2 tablespoons lard into separate bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture and stir until combined.
- Pour batter into hot skillet and bake for 35 minutes until crust is dark golden brown.
- Serve hot.
This is just about the simplest recipe ever and makes baking in your wood cook stove a breeze.
Here are photos of the process.
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