|A classic southern recipe, cornmeal hoecakes are little pan fried cornmeal medallions that are at home as breakfast, as much as they are as a side dish with a mess o' greens, and just about anything else!|
Southern Cornmeal HoecakesA cornmeal hoe cake, or hoecake, also known as Jonnycakes, is a sort of fried cornmeal flatbread - kind of like if you took cornbread batter and skillet fried it like a pancake. The inside puffs up like cornbread, while the outside gets nice and crispy from frying it in the oil. It's the perfect companion to a mess o'greens, or for breakfast or as a sweet treat when drizzled with a bit of syrup.
I read that hoecakes likely started with Native Americans who apparently cooked these on hot rocks inside an open fire. The method was later adapted by cooking the bread on the blade of a hoe, and that is how it got its name.
This was a reader request from one of our Facebook family members Sarah, and since The Cajun brought me home a literal armload of collard greens, I thought I would bump up the request since I clearly had greens in my near future ... and everybody knows, you gotta have either cornbread or else some hoecakes to go with! Course these little hoecakes are pretty good all on their own too.
When it comes to Hoecakes, I think the Lady & Son's Restaurant - of the Miss Paula Deen the Queen of Southern cookin' in Savannah - does them up best. This is a slight adaptation of Paula Deen's Hoecake recipe, a signature feature at the restaurant that comes to your table like a bread basket elsewhere, and the one I love. I think it makes a just perfect hoecake for sopping up some pot likker from a big ole pot of greens, though they make a great bread dish for just about any meal really, especially in the heat of the summer when you want bread but don't want to turn on the oven.
The batter can be made up and stored in the fridge for a couple of days, since we all know as those greens set up in the fridge, they don't get nothing but better. Or treat yourself and drizzle a bit of cane, sorghum or maple syrup over one. Yummy.
The sugar is optional. I like it in these, but leave it out if you don't. Now, if you like and you have a well seasoned cast iron skillet, you can skip the oil or butter to brown them, but you won't get that lovely, crispy outside either, so really, why would you want to do that? Just look at that crispy loveliness with a drip of syrup on it, would ya?
Adapted from a Paula Deen recipe
Recipe: Southern Cornmeal Hoecakes©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 10 (5 servings)
- 1 cup of self rising flour
- 1 cup of all purpose cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of sugar, optional
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
- 1 tablespoon of canola, for frying, or canola combined with a bit of butter
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Measure out the buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup, and add to that the water and oil; blend well. Add eggs and mix well; combine with dry ingredients. Heat oil and butter in a cast iron skillet over medium to medium high and drop batter by about 1/8 cup measures into the hot skillet to form small medallions.
Fry until brown and crisp, turn and brown the other side. Remove and let drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with warm syrup for breakfast or as a snack, or dip 'em in a mess o' greens to sop up that pot likker (juice from the greens)!
Variation: When corn is at peak and in-season, add about 1 cup of corn cut and scraped off the cob. You'll need about 1 large ear of corn. Can also make this into a pan hoecake. Add only enough buttermilk to make a stiff batter. You may not need the additional water. Pour into a screaming hot, well greased 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Reduce heat and let brown underneath about 10 - 15 minutes. Run a metal egg turner underneath and turn to brown the other side. Can also bake in a well preheated 425 degree F oven for about 15 to 20 minutes (no turning needed).
Tip: If you spray the measuring cup with a bit of non-stick spray before scooping, the batter will slip right out. If you don't happen to have that 1/8 cup measure, just do about 2 tablespoons of batter in one pile and push it around to form a medallion.
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