There isn’t a meal prepared over a campfire that isn’t enhanced by a slice of warm cornbread covered with a dab of sweet cream butter. Campfire Cornbread is a must when I make Campfire Chili. The smell of burning wood, simmering spicy chili and fresh cooked cornbread rising above the campfire, is about as close to perfection as a camp dinner dare aspires.
Keep recipes simple when cooking over an open flame. Use a packaged cornbread for convenience. I like Trader Joe’s 15 oz cornbread mix best. It is packaged with bits of whole corn kernels that add to the texture and look of the finished bread. You supply 1 egg, 1/2 cup of oil and 3/4 cup milk. If you’re old school and insist on making from scratch, measure your ingredients before you head-out.
Always trust your senses when cooking over a fire. If it looks and smells done it probably is. Follow recipe on cornmeal package, or if using cornmeal from bulk this recipe works well.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- Crisco or bacon drippings to coat pan
- Melt Crisco or bacon drippings in a cast iron skillet. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat egg with milk and cooled melted butter. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Spread in prepared pan.
- Fry over low campfire until bubbles start forming on the top of batter. Using a metal spatula, carefully flip cornbread over and cook until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into cornbread. I have used foil to keep the heat in and bugs and ash off the bread. Just need to lift foil and keep peeking as bread bakes.
- Kernel Cornbread - Add ¼ cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned) to batter.
- Cheddar Cornbread - Add ¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese to batter.
- TexMex Cornbread -Add ¼ cup diced jalapeño or chili peppers to batter.
- Watch the cornbread. The batter will rise slightly and start to solidify. The bread should color slightly golden, but not too much. If the cornbread gets too brown, it's cooking too quickly. Move it away from the fire with a hand-protecting oven mitt.
- Remove the cornbread from the fire when the batter becomes firm in the center and sides and top are lightly brown.
- Test for doneness by sticking a knife into the middle of the pan. If the knife comes out dry--with a few crumbs sticking to it--the cornbread is finished. If the knife comes out wet, return pan to the campfire and give the bread more time to bake.