Fried Cornbread Southern Cornmeal Hoecakes

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup all-purpose cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cooking oil or bacon drippings
1 tablespoon butter


Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place a rack on top; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add buttermilk, water and eggs; mix well. Heat oil and butter in a cast iron skillet over medium to medium high and drop batter by 1/8 cup measure into the hot skillet to form small medallions.

Fry until brown and crisp, turn and brown the other side. Remove and let drain on rack. Serve immediately with warm syrup or honey butter 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.

Jalapeno Cheese Fried Cornbread: Prepare as above, adding in 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeno. Spoon batter into pan, topping with whole slices of pickled jalapeno. Let set and turn.

Hot Water Cornbread: Omit the flour, eggs and buttermilk. Increase cornmeal to 2 cups, adding salt and baking powder. Sugar is optional. For the water, rapidly boil 2 cups of water and begin stirring into the dry mix, a little at a time until mixture gathers together. Depending on grain of cornmeal, you may not need all of the water. Using wet hands, scoop out enough of the cornmeal to form into a pone in the palm of your hand. Add to skillet of hot oil. Drain on paper towels.


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