I brought this cornbread to a church function. I doubled the recipe and all but 3 pieces were eaten when all was said and done. It was a little strange for me. I think next time I won't include the bacon on top and I will not grease the pan with bacon grease. Maybe I'm a purist, but I don't think bacon belongs in cornbread. So far, my favorite cornbread recipe is in the Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I baked one batch in a 10-inch round cake pan as instructed and the second batch I baked it in a 9x13 pan. The 9x13 pan took about 25 minutes longer then the round cake pan. If possible, use the round cake pan!
1 C coarse cornmeal (also packages as polenta)
2 C buttermilk
8 oz bacon slices (about 10)
1 3/4 C unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 T baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
3 LG eggs
2 T honey
2 T butter, melted
2 1/2 C Fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 T bacon fat or vegetable oil
1. The night before baking the cornbread, soak the cornmeal int he buttermilk. Cover and leave at room temp overnight.
2. The next day, cook the bacon to crispy but not burned. Reserve the grease and crumble the bacon.
3. Preheat the oven to 350. Sift together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Dissolve the honey in the melted butter and slowly pour it into the eggs. Add this to the cornmeal mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a large spoon or whisk until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. It should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Stir in the corn kernels until they are evenly distributed.
4. Place 2 T of the hot bacon fat into a 10-inch round cake pan. Turn the pan to coat with the grease. Pour the batter into the center of the pan, spreading it from the center to the outside of the pan. Sprinkle the bacon over the top, gently pressing them into the batter.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the corn bread is firm and springy and a toothpick comes out clean. The center of the bread should register at least 185. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing into squares or wedges.