Monday, September 17, 2012

The Pioneer Woman’s Skillet Cornbread Master Mix

Soup season is upon us (okay, almost), and one of the most perfect accompaniments to soups and stews is cornbread.  Up until about six months ago, I almost always used a packaged mix from the store, which was fine, until one day I began wondering if I was missing out by not making cornbread from scratch.

Because I wouldn't want to miss out.

So I began looking for a "from scratch" cornbread recipe, and my search didn't take me very far, because I just hopped next door to the Pioneer woman's URL (she lives next door to my URL in the blogosphere, FYI)  and printed off her recipe.  And OH THE CRUNCHY EDGES AND MOIST CENTER!  I am now a convert and this has been the only recipe I have used for the last six months or so.  It is excellent and not only do I say that, but everyone who I have made it for says so too.  In fact, they ask me "Are you making that homemade cornbread recipe, tonight, Mom?  MMMMMMM!"

But I will say that compared to a mix, this is a little more time consuming, and what I don't have now is a lot of extra time, because my life has changed somewhat with the start of my business.  So I got all smart one day and created a master mix from her recipe.  And I want to share it with you all because I love you, and I realize that three extra minutes saved is a huge amount of time if you are time challenged.

So if you want to make just a single recipe, get her recipe right here.  And if you want to make a master mix and live your life stress free, my instructions below.

Here are my notes:

-In a pinch, I have substituted canola (or vegetable) oil for the shortening.  It will work, but I just don't think it is as good.

-I have used all milk instead of buttermilk and milk, and again, it will work, but if you want your cornbread to be awesome (and I know you do) use the buttermilk.

-I do not use Kosher salt for my master mix.  In my mind, I think the Kosher salt won't mix in as well as regular salt.  I envisioning the Kosher salt falling to the bottom of the canister because the granules are heavier and bigger.  You want the master mix to be well mixed.  Now, I don't know this will happen, it's just my thought that it might.  Does anyone else think that this could happen?  Or do I think too much?

-Like I said above, it needs to be mixed well.  I usually put all of my ingredients into my Kitchen Aid with my whisk attachment and mix on low speed, stopping to scrape down sides and the bottom with a rubber scraper.  Mix for 4 -5 minutes.

-Do not over bake the cornbread or muffins.  The cornbread should be firm to the touch in the middle an lightly golden brown.  I almost always put my skillet under the broiler for a deep golden brown.  If your making mini corn muffins, they can dry out very quickly, so watch them carefully.

The Pioneer Woman’s Skillet Cornbread Master Mix

(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

6 cups yellow cornmeal
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 teaspoons salt (regular, not Kosher)
6 tablespoons baking powder
3 teaspoons baking soda

Mix thoroughly and place in an airtight container.  Store in a cool place.

 When you get ready to make the skillet cornbread:

1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons of mix
1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup milk
1 whole egg, beaten
1/4 cup shortening, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons shortening for skillet

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the mix in a large mixing bowl.  Add the buttermilk, milk, and beaten egg and stir until just mixed.  Stir in the 1/4 cup melted shortening just until combined.

In a 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening over medium heat until very hot.  Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Spread to even out the surface. (Batter should sizzle.)  Cook on stovetop for 1 minute, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown and set in the firm in the middle.   Do not over bake!  Place under broiler to brown if needed.

To make mini cornbread muffins, spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and fill each cup about 2/3 full.  These should bake in 15 minutes depending on the oven.  Do not over bake or they will dry out and become tough.  Bake just until they are set in the middle.

*Stir in shredded cheese, corn, green chiles, bacon bits, etc. into the batter for variations.

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  1. This is a great idea for busy people. I would use kosher salt because it does not have the chemicals. I would store my container upside-down.

  2. Yahhhh master mix...
    I have been makeing up Dees cornbread for a couple of years now...its the closest I have found to what my Mama made...
    I use all butter milk instead of any regular milk and like my mama I use bacon fat melted in the bottom of the skillet and poured into the mixed up corn bread just before I pour the cornbread into hot skillet to bake.

  3. I really like the idea of making your own mix in mass batches! Very clever.

  4. I am a cornbread ADDICT! Having a master mix on hand would be dangerous for an addict such as myself, but I'm willing to accept the challenge. The cornbread looks delish!

  5. I searched for a long time for one that was good and didn't use buttermilk because I don't have that in the house very often and I love corn bread. I found a really good one in the "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter" book (which is great if you haven't read it yet). I make the mix for one batch in a mason jar (actually two at a time). Then I just dump the whole jar in the bowl and add the mixture with eggs, milk and melted butter. It is done super fast and easy and makes it just as easy as Jiffy and put in the fridge in seconds so if you are looking for one without shortening and buttermilk, check out my post at

  6. Hi, thanks for taking the time to create this mix. Your instructions say: "When you get ready to make the skillet cornbread: 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 TABLESPOONS of mix." Is this amount correct?