Baking Better Corn Bread

Here are some hints for making the best corn bread:

Before using cornmeal, make sure it's fresh. It should have a slightly sweet smell. Rancid cornmeal will smell stale and musty.

To avoid overmixing, stir the batter by hand just until moistened. Lumps in the batter are normal and desired.

Don't let the mixed batter stand before baking. Have the oven preheated and the skillet or pan ready to go.

Corn bread tastes best fresh from the oven. If that's not possible, serve it the same day it's made.

If you like a more crusty corn bread, use a dark pan or skillet instead of one with a light finish.