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Cornbread is a quick bread that is made with cornmeal. It is generally considered a staple of the states that make up the southern region of the United States. When you make cornbread, you will need dry ingredients, such as corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Wet ingredients typically include eggs, milk, and a liquid fat like vegetable oil, butter, or bacon grease. There are many cornbread recipes, and some call for baking cornbread in the oven, while others call for baking the bread in a cast iron skillet on a stove top.
To make cornbread, you must combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, and then mix together the wet ingredients in another. The two types of ingredients should then be mixed together to form a batter. Depending on the type of recipe you are using to make cornbread, you will then either pour the batter into a greased baking pan and bake it in the oven, or cook it in a skillet on a stove top. If you are making cornbread on the stove top with a cast iron skillet, the pan should be placed in the oven beforehand to pre-heat. A baking dish does not need to be heated, but an oven should be pre-heated before baking.
When you bake cornbread, care should be taken to cook it for the proper amount of time. Cornbread that is baked too long can become very dry and tasteless. Bread cooked in a skillet generally requires 20 to 25 minutes of cooking time, while that made in the oven is usually done in 25 to 35 minutes. You will be able to tell that your cornbread is ready when you can stick a toothpick in the middle and it comes out without any wet batter on it.
This type of bread is very versatile, and many items can be added to the batter. For a sweet cornbread, fruits — such as blueberries or dried cranberries — may be included. Other ingredients, like cheese, chilies, or crumbled bacon, may be added for a savory version. Many people like to add whole corn kernels when they make cornbread for a more interesting texture and taste. A number of herbs may also be used to enhance the flavor of the bread.
After you make cornbread, it is best served immediately, while it is still warm. Cornbread is often served with butter, honey, or jam. The bread will usually stay fresh for two days before becoming stale. Leftover dried cornbread can be used to make stuffing or a bread pudding.
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