Crusty Corn Bread

Skillet Cornbread

Skillet Cornbread

By Cat, Jan 2008 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

The most important consideration when making cornbread, is the source of the cornmeal. Since most commercial feed corn – the kind of corn used to make cornmeal and corn starch – is GMO, you want to be sure to purchase either “Organic”  or “GMO-free” cornmeal such as Bob’s Red Mill (see their non-GMO policy (2)).

There are many different recipes for cornbread, some sweet and cake-like, others plain and bread-like. It can be made in a heavy cast iron skillet on top of the stove, or in a cast iron skillet/pan or regular baking pan in the oven.

Most cornbread recipes include wheat flour, which helps the mixture to form a dough when the cornmeal is not limed. This recipe uses regular and coarse-ground cornmeal (not limed) but no wheat flour, which is one reason why it is “Crusty.”  Another reason: the cheese helps to give it structure.

Crusty Corn Bread

This recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, January 2008 (1).

Cornmeal from limed corn (hominy) is called masa harina, or just masa; I would like to try using this for the regular-grind cornmeal in this recipe (see Lime Water and Nixtamilization of Corn). Liming the corn improves its nutrient profile by making the vitamin B3 (niacin) bio-available. It also allows cornmeal to form a dough.

This recipe would also be easy to convert to a pre-soak method, because it uses several cultured milk products that provide the acid for the soak. I’ve not yet made this adaptation.

Serves 8.

I have not yet tested this recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup yellow (regular) Organic or non-GMO cornmeal (or Organic masa harina)
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground (coarse) Organic or non-GMO cornmeal
  • 2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder (or 1 tsp baking soda; you will not need cream of tartar because of the cultured dairy products in the recipe)
  • 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream or crème fraiche (do not use non-dairy sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • Equipment:
  • 8″ square baking dish
  • large and medium bowls
  • egg whip or electric mixer


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Place butter in 2-quart square baking dish; melt in hot oven 5 – 6 minutes, rotating and tilting dish to coat bottom and sides; set aside in warm spot (to keep butter melted).
  2. In large bowl combine both cornmeals, baking powder/soda, salt and pepper; using an egg whip, mix well.
  3. Beat eggs in medium bowl, then stir in sour cream and buttermilk.  Pour eggy mixture into corn meal mixture, and stir until well combined and glossy.
  4. Pour excess melted butter from baking dish into batter; stir to blend.  Stir in cheddar cheese, then pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake 25 – 28 minutes or until corn bread is golden and begins to pull away from dish.  Serve warm.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with whipped butter and honey


  1. Better Homes & Gardens recipe (
  2. Bob’s Red Mill non-GMO policy (blog.bobsredmill. com/featured-articles/our-policy-regarding-gmos) (link deactivated at their request)

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