Old Virginia Batter Bread

Total Time:
50 min
Prep:
25 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
1 (8-inch) round loaf

Ingredients
  • 2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk (you will need enough to make a batter about the thickness of pancake batter; the amount of buttermilk needed will vary according to the fineness of the cornmeal used, the thickness of the buttermilk and the size of the eggs)
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Place the lard in an 8-inch heavy iron skillet, set in oven, and let melt. Meanwhile, mix the eggs lightly into the combined dry ingredients, then stir in just enough buttermilk to make a batter about the consistency of pancake batter.

  • Remove skillet from the oven, tilt so that lard greases both the sides and the bottom, and then pour the hot lard into the batter. Stir briskly just to mix.

  • Pour batter into the hot skillet and bake in hot oven until firm and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Serve oven-hot, directly from skillet. The way to eat batter bread is to cut it into wedges as you would a cake, then to split each wedge horizontally and tuck in a lump or two of sweet butter while the bread is still hot enough to melt it.


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