This born-and-raised Virginia gal couldn't resist sharing a classic, easy side dish recipe for old-fashioned Virginia Spoon Bread! If you've visited Williamsburg (or many other parts of the South), then you've likely enjoyed the moist, custard-like cornbread that you can scoop with a spoon. If not, then let me introduce you to this cozy treat...
There are so many reasons that spoon bread has stood the test of time:
- it's affordable;
- it only requires a handful of basic pantry staples;
- it comes together with about 10 minutes of prep;
- it's a versatile and easy side dish that pairs nicely with almost any entrée;
- and, most importantly, it's incredibly delicious!!!
WHAT IS SPOON BREAD?
The texture of spoon bread is like a cross between a classic cornbread and a savory Yorkshire pudding. The crispy, golden edges contrast beautifully with the soft, tender inside.
While the dish is popular throughout the Southern United States, a little bit of research taught me that spoon bread is thought to have originated with the Native Americans. Sarah Rutledge's cookbook included the first print version of a spoon bread recipe in 1847! The history major in me would love to see how that recipe compares to the version that we're enjoying today!????
This easy side became popular around the turn of the 20th century, as cornmeal replaced yeast in Southern cooking. You know that I'm a big fan of any bread baking that doesn't involve yeast!
HOW TO MAKE OLD FASHIONED SPOON BREAD:
As I mentioned above, you only need a handful of basic pantry staples for this easy recipe.
Water, cornmeal, eggs, salt, baking powder, and milk.
Start by adding the cornmeal to a bowl of boiling water. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
You'll have a nice, thick mush!
After you add the rest of the ingredients, your batter is ready for the oven!
I bake it in a HOT, buttered dish. Pouring the batter into a pre-heated dish helps to form that great crust on the outside, while the inside stays tender and "spoonable."
I obviously made this Williamsburg spoon bread recipe from scratch (which is really about as easy as it gets), but if you prefer a quick, 4-ingredient option for corn spoon bread made with Jiffy mix, then definitely check out my 4-Ingredient, 4-Minute Corn Pudding. I think it will be exactly what you're looking for!
Whether you're pulling together a Thanksgiving feast, planning ahead for your next Sunday supper, or just whipping up a quick weeknight dinner, I hope that you'll take a step back in history and give this old fashioned treat a try!
Oh! And one last tip before I let you go: our family highly recommends that you serve your warm spoon bread with a pat of butter and a hefty drizzle of honey. Just trust us on that one...
Looking for even more delicious side dishes? Try these favorites:
- Fannie's Easy Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
- Orange Cranberry Corn Muffins
- Southern Cornbread Stuffing
- 3-Ingredient Cranberry Orange Sauce
Virginia Spoon Bread
- 1 cup boiling water*
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
- Optional, for serving: extra butter and honey!
- Place a medium baking dish (about 8 inches square) in a cold oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. The dish will warm up while the oven heats.
- Meanwhile, stir cornmeal into boiling water. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add salt. Dissolve baking powder in 3 tablespoons of milk. Add the baking powder mixture to the remaining 1 cup of milk. Add milk and baking powder mixture to the cornmeal.
- Butter the hot baking dish. Transfer mixture to the buttered dish. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Serve spoon bread warm from the oven!