As one of the primary elements of Southern cuisine, cornbread has a hallowed spot in many hearts around Louisiana. This steamy, tender cornbread from 2013 Chef to Watch Alex Harrell both honors his family’s traditions, and makes the most of exceptional products from Louisiana and the Gulf region—including an heirloom corn from Alabama, a whole wheat flour from central Louisiana, and handmade salt from Lafayette.
Yields: makes about 10 servings
- 3 cups Bayou Cora cornmeal*
- ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour*
- 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3½ cups whole buttermilk
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons bacon drippings or lard, melted and divided
- Garnish: salted butter
- Preheat oven to 450°. Place a 12-inch cast-iron skillet in oven for at least 10 minutes to preheat.
- In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and ¼ cup melted drippings. Add buttermilk mixture to cornmeal mixture, stirring until just combined. (Do not overmix.)
- Remove skillet from oven, and place over high heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons melted drippings to skillet. Carefully pour batter into skillet.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
*Bayou Cora cornmeal and Louisiana whole wheat pastry flour can be purchased at bellegardebakery.com. Alex uses Cellar Salt, available at cellarsalt.co.
You can find the full story on Angeline and Chef Alex Harrel in the newest issue of Louisiana Cookin’.
I added rice syrup as I prefer my cornbread sweet and used 1 cup of heavy cream + 2 cups of almond milk instead of buttermilk. Turned out great, thank you !