Bacon Buttermilk Cornbread

I was reading Violet the story of Stone Soup, when I was transported to my nursery school, in the basement of the Methodist Church. It is the first book I remember. The first book I connected with. I knew I was onto something major, that all the secrets were contained in all the books. If you don’t remember the plot, it’s like this: a band of travelers arrives in a destitute and hopeless town, the people are starving and their poverty is making them selfish and cruel. The outsiders persuade each household to share what they have, one ingredient to contribute to the giant stew, made magic with the help of a transformative stone. The stone of course is ordinary, and the townspeople learn how to share, feast, and overcome. It’s what Thanksgiving is about. And the totality of the holiday season – the good, nonmaterialistic stuff still boils down to that. Let’s get together, bring what we can, put it all in a pot, and create something better. The alchemy of the holiday season is upon us, let’s bake bread and soup together.

If you don’t think you like cornbread, stop it and try this recipe out at once. It’s supple, sweet and savory. You’re gonna plotz.

Bacon Buttermilk Cornbread

Bacon Buttermilk Cornbread
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup instant polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 10 strips bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2½ cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine cornmeal and buttermilk, cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in brown sugar.
  4. Whisk together eggs, honey, and melted butter.
  5. Stir wet ingredients into dry, fold in corn. Do not overmix.
  6. Cook bacon pieces over medium heat until just crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a brown bag or paper towels. Pour reserved bacon fat into 13x9 baking dish, coating sides as well as the bottom thoroughly. Pop baking pan into preheated oven, 6 minutes.
  7. Pour batter into hot pan. Sprinkle bacon pieces over the top, pressing them lightly into the mix.
  8. Bake 45 minutes. Let stand to cool.
Bacon Buttermilk Cornbread


Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road. She creates content on the internet, on subjects ranging from summer camps to semi-precious stones to the folklore of food. With Malcolm, Jillian was one of the original "Insiders," for the Visit Maine tourism campaign. She loves telling the stories of her adopted state, finding out-of-the-way places, and people making interesting things. Watching her daughters play in the wild woods and fields of Cushing makes her very happy.

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