Even among us though, the variations are vast. His family makes it using corn meal as seems to be the custom among recipes found on the web. My family’s version uses flour and produces a bread much like buttermilk biscuits in flavor only with a lighter and fluffier texture and crispy outsides.
Either way you look at it, hoe cake is revered by those who know of it. I am sure its origins sprang forth much like the rest of our southern dishes – too little time and too few ingredients. It is a simple food to make but will easily take over the starring role at your dinner table. Once you see how simple it is to make, it will take a starring role in your dinner preparations as well!
I made hoe cake for my in laws for the first time this past weekend. Even though they are from Georgia, they had never had it either! It was requested and made the following meal as well, where a pint and a half of fresh apple butter was ate along with it!
I can honestly say that this is a rare recipe, having searched and not found it anywhere online. I do hope you will try it and guarantee that if you like biscuits, you’ll LOVE hoe cake.
Ingredients for this are a cinch. Self rising flour (White Lily, of course!), vegetable shortening, and whole milk. If you don’t have self rising flour where you are, go here for the formula of how to make your own.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil in the bottom of a cake pan. This is where the old folks use a cast iron skillet but at the time of this tutorial Mama had yet to hand down a cast iron skillet to me so I figured a cake pan with a wee bit of wear on it is just as good ~grins~. Either way, you’re going to add enough oil to cover the bottom of your cake pan and then stick it in the oven while it preheats.
*I am happy to report that I now have a cherish cast iron skillet from my Mama but I still go back and forth between a cake pan and cast iron when making this (whichever on I grab first) so don’t you dare go feeling bad for whichever one you choose to use.
All that brown is the crispy bread. This is SO GOOD! Cut it any way you choose and dig in!