And if it’s got nice big pieces of bacon baked into it, so much the better. Cornbread would have been one of the standard applications for chemical leaveners back in the day, since the ingredients were both inexpensive and very easy to transport. This recipe is a very sturdy version that calls for a high proportion of corn (both meal and kernels) to wheat flour. Finer, sweeter and more cake-like versions (which I often like for breakfast) are mostly white flour. But why put wheat flour into corn bread at all if it’s “corn bread”? The answer is that corn has no gluten in it. That means that a batter made entirely of ground corn would be almost incapable of rising, since there’d be no bubble-trapping protein mesh. All the CO2 that the chemical leaveners made would just bubble right out.
And yes, for you purist complainers, this cornbread has sugar in it, both brown sugar and honey (though I substituted maple syrup). That means it’s a yankee creation. But then so what? Yankees have been eating cornbread since before there even was a South. So there!