Cornbread is a popular dish in Southern cooking. It has a specific moist yet slightly crumbly texture and delicious aroma.
If it is the first time you are making cornbread, it’s important to know how to test when it is done properly to have the perfect cornbread experience.
You can tell if cornbread is done by poking a toothpick in the middle of the bread. The cornbread is cooked through if the toothpick comes out completely clean. You can also check the internal temperature of the cornbread, which should be between 195°F to 200°F.
Checking the internal temperature is an excellent method to check cornbread, even though some people may not know about it. If you enjoy cornbread, you might want to try another favorite recipe, cornbread dressing.
A mix of cornbread crumbles and other ingredients, this dish also has to pass specific tests to know when it is done.
How to Tell If Cornbread Is Done
Cornbread is made from either yellow or white cornmeal. Cornmeal is essentially a flour that comes from dried corn or maize. Cornbread is a well-known and regularly baked dish in many Southern households.
One thing that can make it challenging to know when cornbread is done is that it typically should have a moist texture and not be too dry. Although some people prefer it gooier, you should still cook it all the way through to be edible.
Nothing will probably happen if you have some undercooked cornbread, but it won’t taste 100% right. Eating too much of it will most likely give you an upset stomach.
Use the Toothpick Method
A popular way to check if cornbread is done is to push a toothpick into the center of the cornbread. If it comes out clean, you know you cooked it properly. If there are some moist crumbs on the toothpick, then it is fine too.
But if the batter is still clinging to the toothpick, your cornbread is not cooked. Other suggestions include checking the color of the bread. If your cornbread has fallen in the middle, it means that it has not baked well and is not ready to eat. Another problem could be that you added too much leavening.
If you don’t have a toothpick nearby, another technique to check if cornbread is done is to turn the bread upside down once it is out of the pan. Hold the bread in one hand and tap the bottom of the bread (now at the top) with one finger.
Listen for a hollow sound from the middle of the bread. If you hear this, then the bread should be done.
Check the Internal Temperature of the Cornbread
It is essential to consider the internal temperature when baking cornbread to decide when it is perfectly done. You might not know this because recipes rarely mention it. An instant-read thermometer should be around 195°F to 200°F when you check the bread from a hot oven.
As with other bread recipes, the instruction is to place the bread in the oven for a certain amount of time. However, ovens vary in temperature settings, sizes, and other factors. Also, the size of the pan in which the cornbread is in could influence the outcome.
What Does Cornbread Look Like When It’s Done
Cornbread has a crisp golden-brown top layer when it is done. The crust can be slightly cracked. The edges of the bread will also be a little brown and start to pull away from the pan.
Cornbread is a delicate balance between being moist and crumbly but not too crumbly. The inside should be soft and dense. If you see it completely falling apart when you cut it or pick it up, then it isn’t done properly.
In terms of color, you can use either yellow or white cornmeal to make cornbread. The color of the cornmeal depends on the region where the cornbread is made. Usually, cornbread made in the south uses white cornmeal. Yellow cornmeal is used outside the southern areas and can be slightly sweeter.
When Is Cornbread Dressing Done?
Cornbread dressing is a dish made by using cornbread crumbled into pieces and mixing it with a bunch of other elements. Some of the ingredients include onion, butter, chicken stock/broth, and cream of chicken soup. There are a few different versions of this dish.
First, you have to bake the cornbread dressing in the oven for a specific time, which varies from recipe to recipe. Once it has baked for about 30 to 45 minutes, you can check if it is done by shaking the dish lightly. Look for any movement in the center of the dish.
If the middle moves a bit, then it is not entirely cooked. You’ll have to put the dish back into the oven for a slightly longer time. Some people say that cornbread dressing takes about an hour to cook thoroughly.
It’s important to consider how deep your baking dish is – it generally takes longer to bake the deeper the container. The sides of the cornbread dressing should be browned, and the entire dish should have puffed up a bit.
The top layer of the dish will be golden brown, and the dish should have soaked up all the liquid. You can also use a fork and push it through the middle of the dish to the bottom.
Gently push a little part aside once the fork is in the dressing. Now you can check if the liquid has been absorbed. The ideal cornbread dressing should be moist, but there should not be any liquid residue at the bottom of the dish.
Cornbread is a staple in Southern cooking. Once baked in the oven, you can check if it is done by testing the internal temperature or by poking a toothpick in the middle.
The temperature should be around 195°F to 200°F, and the toothpick should come out clean without any batter clinging onto it.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.