In the South and Southwest states, eating cornbread is a common occurrence at the dinner table. But hot water cornbread? You don’t see that every day! So, what is hot water cornbread?
Hot water cornbread is a Southern classic. It’s easy to make and can be served alongside just about any meal. With its simple ingredient list and straightforward preparation, anyone can make this dish.
Plus, did you know that this snack goes back to the Native Americans? Now, are you ready to learn how to make it, too? Read on!
In the Americas, before the European settlers arrived, Native people used corn as sustenance for thousands of years. The natives developed many recipes based on corn, including cornbread.
Later when the settlers arrived, they adopted many of those recipes as well. Over the years, hot water cornbread became a favorite dish among southerners.
It’s been a part of the southern diet since approximately 1780.
Hot water cornbread is also commonly known as hoecakes. The name comes from the fact that they were originally baked on the flat end of a hoe over a wood fire.
Today, hot water cornbread is still popular throughout the southern states. Actually, it can be hard to find outside of these regions!
Some people prefer it over other types because they feel it tastes fresher and lighter than its baked or deep-fried cousins. Others prefer it because of the different texture or taste.
The ingredients in hot water cornbread are what make it so unique. You won’t require much at all and you’ll still end up with a tasty meal!
Essentially, hot water cornbread only requires cornmeal, light oil, and boiled water. That’s literally it!
You can add a dash of salt, or even some sugar, if you like. However, water and cornmeal are all you’ll need to create this dish.
Its taste is mostly sugarless and savory. It’s also crispier than other cornbreads and moist on the inside.
If you haven’t tried hot water cornbread yet, you’re missing out! Fortunately, all you need are a few ingredients, and in 15 minutes you’ll have an excellent accompaniment to your other dishes.
Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need:
- Two cups of fine cornmeal
- Two cups of water
- Vegetable oil
- One tablespoon of salt
- A large iron skillet
Next, follow these steps:
- Boil the water in a saucepan and let it simmer on the side. Don’t let the water cool down.
- Mix the cornmeal and salt in a bowl together before adding anything else.
- After you’re done mixing, pour the boiling water on the dry ingredients.
- Mix well and then wait for about five minutes to allow the mixture to cool down.
- While you’re waiting for the mix to cool, preheat the oil in the iron skillet over medium heat.
- Cover your hands with oil and roll the dough between your palms to turn the batter into small balls.
- Press the dough between your palms until it forms patties that are about half an inch thick.
- Using a spatula, place the patties in the hot oil.
- Leave them to cook for about a minute and a half on each side.
- Once finished, leave the cornbread on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
- Voilà, enjoy your hot water cornbread!
Hot water cornbread is known in the South, but it’s not as famous as regular cornbread. The two types of cornbread are similar in that they both use cornmeal and salt in the ingredients.
However, that’s where the similarities end. To make regular cornbread, you’ll need a lot more than just cornmeal and hot water. Regular cornbread uses eggs, milk, flour, and even baking powder!
In addition, the key difference between regular cornbread and hot water cornbread is that one is baked in an oven while the other is fried.
Hot water cornbread is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. A regular one is closer in texture to that of a cake.
Hot water cornbread isn’t the healthiest meal to live on, but it’s not harmful either. Let’s look at why that is.
First, this snack is both gluten and vegan-friendly. That’s because all you’ll need to make it is cornmeal and hot water.
Unlike regular cornbread, the ingredients in this dish don’t have any eggs, milk, or flour. It’s believed to be safe for anyone suffering from gluten allergies or other types of food sensitivities.
Moreover, cornmeal, the essential ingredient in this snack, contains various healthy components.
Additionally, it works to enhance brain function, ease muscle cramps, and boost blood pressure.
Another component in hot water cornbread is protein. One serving of this delicious dish contains around 2.3g of protein in it.
Protein is essential for just about every function in the body! It can especially help with weight loss. That’s because protein helps to curb your appetite and reduce hunger levels.
To make the tastiest hot water cornbread, follow these tips:
- When you’re frying those patties, make sure you’re using light, vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are known for their unique flavor and richness when it comes to baked goods.
- Nobody likes to see their cornbread falling apart! To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, heat the oil properly before placing the patties in the skillet.
- Try different shapes! You don’t actually have to limit yourself to the patty shape; you can get creative and add a touch of fun to a delicious meal.
- You can use self-raising cornmeal instead of a regular one. Some types have baking powder and salt in the mix as well. They’re very convenient to use and save you an ingredient or two!
- Keep your patties (or whatever shape you have) as thin as you can. A thicker dough could take longer to cook and might come out undercooked.
- For a little variety in the taste, you can fry the cornbread in bacon drippings.
- For a sweet flavor, you can try adding syrup or jam to the cornbread. For a herbaceous flavor, you can add herbs like oregano or parsley.
Sometimes, you can make just a little too much hot water cornbread. Don’t worry, though! You can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about five days.
You can enjoy these little morsels cold or reheated in the microwave. Moreover, you can save the dough itself for later use by freezing it in grip-seal bags for months in the freezer.
And that’s a wrap! Are you still wondering what is hot water cornbread? To sum up, it’s a unique and delicious way to make cornbread and it goes back to the Native Americans.
Next time you’re craving some good, old-fashioned southern comfort food, try making some hot water cornbread!
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.