This is a more substantial cornbread than the Sour Cream Cornbread I posted a while back. That version is my favorite for serving as a side, slathered with butter and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. But this version holds up better for stuffing (or dressing). Don’t get me wrong, this cornbread is still delicious, served warm, smeared with a nice schmear of good butter and enjoyed for breakfast or dinner. A little apple butter, spread over the slice, is a nice touch, too.
Cornbread is a simple thing to prepare. Moist ingredients are combined in one bowl. The dry ingredients are combined in another bowl, then poured into the moist ingredients. The key to good cornbread? Do NOT over-mix the batter. You don’t want to develop the gluten in the flour or you’ll end up with tough cornbread. Not good. Not good at all.
I like to bake this in a heavy skillet; cast iron works great. I think it has a better crust and that’s good for stuffing or dressing.
Cornbread for Stuffing
- 1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup ground yellow cornmeal (this is a slightly coarser grind)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a heavy skillet or an 8×8-inch baking pan with spray shortening.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeals, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, sour cream, buttermilk. Whisk until well combined. Add the eggs; whisk until completely combined. Add the dry ingredients. Using a silicone spatula, fold the mixture together until just combined. Do not over-mix.
Pour the batter into the skillet (pan), spread evenly with a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake until the top is just starting to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool to room temperature. When completely cooled, break into 3/4-inch chunks. Place the pan in a 250°F oven. “Bake” until the cornbread begins to dry out a bit. You don’t want this to be completely dried out, but you want the pieces to be a bit crusty and browned a bit. Remove from the oven; cool completely. Place the cubes in a large bowl and set aside. You probably won’t need all of the cornbread, so enjoy some with breakfast.
NOTE: Can be made 2-3 days ahead.
Cornbread for Stuffing Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
I don’t like to “cube” the cornbread, but prefer to break the cornbread into chunks. I like the more rustic look of it, but if you prefer, make perfect little cubes. That’s up to you. I usually throw the cookie sheet under the broiler for a bit, just to brown up those cubes a tad. It deepens the flavor, but be careful. Don’t walk away while you do this or you’ll have burned cubes and that’s way too deep a flavor!!
Now, on to the stuffing or dressing. By the way, I prefer to make dressing. First, it’s just easier. Second, you don’t have any issue with raw turkey juices or health issues. And third, and most important, you get a really nice, crispy topping and that’s the best part for me. The Goddess loves crispy!
If you prefer to have a less crispy topping, leave the foil on the pan for a longer period of time or use a deeper baking dish. That’s a matter of personal choice. Make it the way you and your family and friends like it. Enjoy!