There is a large place in my heart for cornbread. In fact, it graces my Top 10 favorite foods (which I like to think is a hard category to crack) and I have a hard time finding a cornbread that I don’t want to eat. Do you feel me, people!?
What is it about cornbread that is SO good?! I personally believe it’s the savory and dense flavor, the cake-like texture and the fact that it’s an excellent dipping mechanism for soups (chili in particular).
As I’ve alluded to in some recent posts, Luke and I were craving a homemade chili and cornbread weekend to kick-start the fall season. I have had this cornbread recipe from How Sweet Eats as a Pinterest pin for a LONG time and was simply waiting for the right moment to try it out. This seemed like the ideal time to give it a go, especially as I’ve been really pumped about Jessica’s new cookbook and am anxiously waiting to dive into it’s colorful and drool-inducing pages.
(I have a slight cookbook obsession…umm…can’t help it.)
Before I dive into the details, can I just say two OTHER items that I really love – bacon and beer. And these are to be IN the cornbread?!
Heck yes, people! They are!
Jessica over at How Sweet Eats knows how to really spice up cornbread with all the perfect ingredients. My husband thought I was kidding as I asked if he wanted to try out Beer Bacon Cornbread. HA. Not kidding, just about to create the most epic cornbread ever.
No. Big. Deal.
Enough already, let’s do this!
- 6 slices thick-cut peppered bacon (just adds some extra zip to use peppered), chopped
- 1 Tbsp bacon fat (leftover from your bacon fryin’)
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
- 3/4 cup cake flour + 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or you can use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour, which I did not have on hand)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of beer (we used a light beer but you could experiment!)
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/3 sour cream
- 1/2 unsalted butter, melted down
How to Make:
Prepare for a delicious loaf of cornbread to come out of your oven, people. To make that a reality, preheat to 375 degrees and find your favorite loaf pan.
Now, my parents are firm believers in flouring pans for all breads and cakes and I must say, I swear by it too. To do this, spray the pan with Pam or another cooking spray and then drop a handful of flour into the pan. Working over your sink or garbage can, carefully turn the pan and pat the sides to spread the flour across all sides and the bottom of the pan. (The sound of my mom tapping the side of the pan as she floured it is a distinct sound that brings back memories. My mom made banana bread all the time. Seriously – ALL the time.)
Before we dive into making the batter, gotta fry up that bacon! Use a skillet on the stove top and make sure to fry it up so it’s got a little crunch (at minimum). When the bacon is done, remove and set on a paper towel to absorb the grease and then leave the pan to cool as you’ll need a bit of the bacon fat later. Yes, we’re using bacon fat. You will love it. No complaints!
Once the bacon is cooled, chop it up into bite-size pieces.
Now time to get the batter going. In your medium bowl or stand mixer, mix together the dry ingredients of cornmeal, flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Once that’s all mixed together, you’ll grab a smaller second bowl to mix the milk (pictured below) and eggs (not pictured because I’m a moron) together, and then add into your dry ingredients. Add in the sour cream and the beer of choice (not pictured, but it did happen. Solemnly swear.).
Last liquid to add is the melted butter and that bacon fat.
Mix the batter until it’s all smooth and just before you finish, add in your chopped up bacon pieces. BEST PART. (Yes, you can sneak a piece or two. Who will know?!)
Pour your batter into your floured pan…
…and then pop the pan into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Use a toothpick or another wooden skewer to test the doneness (it should come out clean when inserted into the cornbread if it’s done).
This had a BEAUTIFUL crust on it when it came out. Both Luke and I were ooohing and aaahing over how fantastic it looked and let me tell you, tastes even better!
We ate ours with a big batch of our Nowinsky chili (coming to a future blog post near you) and it was perfect with something to dunk it with. It’s also really good with a little sweet butter spread on it. It has a tangy flavor and the sweetness of butter really compliments the tang of the bacon and beer mixed into the cornbread.
Gosh, I don’t know how many other words to use to get you to want to try this, guys. It’s SO tasty!
It stays really great for a few days, but definitely do recommend you devour it quickly. We found that after 4-5 days, the bitterness of the beer came out. But hey, it makes the fresh baked bread REALLY good, so it’s totally worth it. Just make sure to feed it to lots of hungry folks and I have no concern that you will gobble this up right away.
Happy cornbread making, friends!