How to Make Hot Water Cornbread – Depression Era Recipe
Learn how to make Hot Water Cornbread with this Depression Era Recipe. Learning the techniques of Depression Era Cooking saves you money and makes good use of your pantry staples and food storage.
Sweet or Savory Cornbread?
When I first moved to Texas, I was surprised by the cornbread that was served here. Being a Yankee from New York 😉 , I was used to eating a sweetly flavored cake with a light texture. But the first time I tried cornbread in Texas, it was a dense, savory bread with corn kernels. And it had jalapeños in it too! What a surprise that was!
Hot Water Cornbread
In addition to both the sweet and savory cornbreads, there is a third type of cornbread called Hot Water Cornbread. This recipe’s origin goes far back in history to the native people of the Americas, and it has had a lasting impact throughout history. Thanks to the recipe’s simple list of common and affordable ingredients, many home cooks prepared Hot Water Cornbread during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
A Variety of Preparations
If you talk to home cooks throughout the southern United States, each one will have their own unique recipe for Hot Water Cornbread. Some cooks will add a bit of sugar, while others will add a bit of flour—or sometimes both. Some will use self-rising cornmeal, while others will add a pinch of baking powder to their plain cornmeal.
But whatever variation you use to make this cornbread, it will be a tasty treat that is tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside with a rich corn flavor. Eat the plain cornbread right out of the frying pan, or add a dollop of butter, jam, or maple syrup.
Watch Related Videos
Now that you know how to make Hot Water Cornbread, try your hand at more easy meals that use other pantry staples that most of us always have on hand.
If you would like to try a whole grain sweet cornbread, be sure to try my favorite skillet version. It’s foolproof and doubles the nutrition by using whole grains!
And if you’re looking for ways to reuse and regrow your kitchen scraps for future meals, watch the videos below to help you create a recurring harvest. Regrowing scraps provides you with fresh and nutritious ingredients for your modern-day or Depression Era recipes.
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Hot Water Cornbread – Depression Era Recipe
- 2 cups Cornmeal For variations, see Recipe Notes below.
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Lard
- 2 cups Boiling water
- Additional lard for frying
- To a large bowl, add cornmeal and salt and mix well.
- To the cornmeal and salt mixture, add the lard and 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Mix well until the cornmeal is fully saturated.
- To create a loose "pancake" batter, slowly add the remaining water to the mixture until you obtain the desired texture.
- Heat approximately 2 tablespoons of lard in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Once the fat is melted and sizzling, but not smoking, using a 1/4 cup measure pour 4 dollops ("pancakes") of the batter into the hot melted lard and fry each "pancake" for approximately 5 minutes on each side.
- Once fried, transfer each "pancake" to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Continue to fry all the batter in 1/4 cup dollops, adding additional lard to the frying pan as necessary, until you finish all the batter.
- Serve warm plain or topped with butter, jam, or maple syrup. Enjoy!
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