How to Make Hoe Cake Southern Style
Hoe cake seems to be a rather elusive recipe, even among southerners. Apart from my own, I have only one friend whose family still makes it.
The Many Variations of Hoe Cake
Even among us though, the variations are vast. His family makes their hoe cake recipe 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 with 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!
Where does the name ‘Hoe Cake’ come from?
Just like there are a few variations of Hoe Cake recipes there are some variations in the explanation of how it got it’s name. It appears to have first been recognized in print in 1745 according to the Oxford Dictionary. But others have pointed out that the term hoe was used for cooking and it was similar to a griddle. And that my friends seems to be where the term Hoe Cake got its name.
If You Like The Taste of Biscuits…
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 hoe cake are a cinch.
- Self rising flour: If you don’t have self rising flour where you are, go here for the formula of how to make your own.
- Vegetable shortening
- Whole milk
Combine two cups of self rising flour and 1/2 cup of shortening.
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. 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.
It should look like this.
You can add about a fourth of a cup more of milk if need be.
What we are making here is soupy biscuit batter.
Remove from oven when it looks like this and turn out onto a plate so it is upside down.
All that brown is the crispy bread. This is SO GOOD! Cut it any way you choose and dig in!
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- Preheat oven to 425. Pour a thin layer of oil to cover the bottom of an eight inch round cake pan and place in oven to heat.
- Cut shortening into flour well. Pour milk in and stir until wet.
- Pour into well heated pan and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes or until browned.
- Invert onto plate.
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