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Types of Cornbread
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National Bread Month

Cornbread History

Native Americans: were using ground corn for cooking long before the European explorers arrived in the New World. Cornbread was first discovered by Europeans during the European exploration of North America. Europeans who had to use the local resources for food, fashioned cornmeal into cornbread. Cornbread was popular during the American Civil War because it was very cheap and could be made in many different forms. It could be fashioned into high-rising, fluffy loaves or simply fried for a fast meal.

Soul Food: Cornbread is a popular item in soul food enjoyed by many people for its texture and scent. Cornbread can be baked, fried or, rarely, steamed. Steamed cornbreads are mushy, chewier and more akin to cornmeal pudding than what most consider to be traditional cornbread.
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Baked cornbread
The most common variety, skillet-baked cornbread (often simply called skillet bread (see hillbilly cornbread) or hoecake depending on the container it's cooked in) is a traditional staple of rural cuisine in the United States, especially in the Southern United States which involves heating bacon drippings, lard or other oil in a heavy, well-seasoned cast iron skillet in an oven, and then pouring a batter made from cornmeal, egg and buttermilk directly into the hot grease. The mixture is returned to the oven to bake into a large, crumbly and sometimes very moist cake with a crunchy crust. This bread will tend to be dense, meant more as an accompaniment than as a bread meant to stand on its own. In addition to the skillet method, such cornbread can also be made in sticks, muffins or loaves. In some parts of the South it is crumbled into a glass of cold buttermilk and eaten with a spoon. In rural areas of Virginia in the mid 20th century it, accompanied by pinto beans (often called soup beans in this context) or honey, cornbread was a common lunch for poor children[citation needed]. It is still a common side dish, often served with homemade butter, chunks of onion or scallions.

Unlike fried types of cornbread, baked cornbread is a quick bread that is dependent on an egg-based protein matrix for its structure (though the addition of wheat flour adds gluten to increase its cohesiveness). The baking process gelatinizes the starch in the cornmeal, but still often leaves some hard starch to give the finished product a distinctive sandiness not typical of breads made from other grains.

Native American Cornbread
Native Americans were using ground corn for cooking long before the European explorers arrived in the New World. Cornbread was first discovered by Europeans during the European exploration of North America. Europeans who had to use the local resources for food, fashioned cornmeal into cornbread. Cornbread was popular during the American Civil War because it was very cheap and could be made in many different forms. It could be fashioned into high-rising, fluffy loaves or simply fried for a fast meal.

Indian Fry Bread (Hoe Cake)
"Want to make a Hoe Cake? Follow directions below except have a nice clean garden hoe and a large roaring fire. Rub some lard on the hoe, then heat it in the fire. Place the flattened dough on the heated hoe and hold it against the fire and bake it without burning it.

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
Enough cold water to make a soft, but firm dough;3/4 to 1 cup liquid

   Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add shortening and cut through with knife until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

   Add liquid to make a dough that is soft but not sticky. If it is too sticky, just add a little flour, two tablespoons at a time, and knead until mixture is the right consistency.

   Heat enough fat (any type: lard, bacon fat, vegetable oil, etc.) to cover the bottom of a large skillet.

   Form dough into a ball, divide into 4 equal parts. Form each part into a round ball, then flatten with your hands to form a round, flat bread.

   Place in hot fat and fry until bottom side is golden brown, then turn and cook in the same manner until the other side is light brown and the cake has puffed. Repeat for each piece of dough until all are done. Serve with butter and/or jam or jelly.

Fry Bread
Although not uniquely Cherokee, Fry Bread is a standard with most Indians. Different tribes make the bread in different ways and here is one recipe for a common Fry Bread in Cherokee communities.

2 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 cup Instant Dry Milk
Cups Shortening

Mix Flour, baking powder, salt, powdered milk, and water. Heat shortening until flakes of flour start to bubble when dropped into oil. While shortening is heating, Pull off a palm sized mound of dough and roll it into a smooth ball then flatten into a disk shape. Size is a matter of preference. Put dough into pan, cook until brown, turn over and cook other side until brown. You can take a brown paper bag and place a few sheets of paper towels on the bottom and drop finished fry bread into bag to let grease drain. Makes about 6 servings.

Source:  Cherokee Favorites
Source:  Information Article about Indian cornbread

"Modern" Native American Cornbread: example recipe:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup polenta or corneal
4 tablespoons sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons applesauce
1/2 cup low fat soy milk
1/2 cup water
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl. Add wet to dry and stir well. Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
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Corn pone
Corn pone (sometimes referred to as "Indian pone") is a type of cornbread, made of a thick, malleable dough made of cornmeal or hominy grits, shaped by hand and then baked or fried in butter, margarine, lard or bacon grease. Corn pone has been a staple of Southern U.S. cuisine, and has been discussed by many American writers, including Mark Twain. Typically corn pone is formed in two to three inch oval shapes and features a crunchy and/or chewy texture.

The term "corn pone" is sometimes used as a noun to refer to one who possesses certain rural, unsophisticated peculiarities ("he's a corn pone"), or as an adjective to describe particular rural, folksy or "hick" characteristics (e.g., "corn pone" humor). The term is sometimes intended as a pejorative, often directed at persons from rural areas of the southern and midwestern U.S.
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Hot water cornbread
Cooked on a rangetop, one frying method involves pouring a small amount of liquid batter made with boiling water and self-rising cornmeal (cornmeal with soda or some other chemical leavener added) into a skillet of hot oil, and allowing the crust to turn golden and crunchy while the center of the batter cooks into a crumbly, mushy bread. These small (3-4" diameter) fried breads are soft and very rich. Sometimes, to ensure the consistency of the bread, a small amount of wheat flour is added to the batter. This type of cornbread is often known as "hot water" or "scald meal" cornbread and is unique to the American South.
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Jonnycakes
Pouring a batter similar to that of skillet-fried cornbread, but slightly thinner, into hot grease atop a griddle or a skillet produces a pancake-like bread called a jonnycake, johnnycake, johnny cakes, ashcake, battercake, journey cake, mush bread, Shawnee cake, jonakin or jonikin. The origin of the name is unclear, possibly from 'journey cake' as a bread easily prepared by travellers, or as a corruption of 'Shawnee cake', or based on a forgotten Indian word. It has been claimed that the origin of this term is related to the Northern slang for Southern soldiers during the American Civil war, "Johnny Reb," but this claim is inconsistent with the fact that the term was in use during the 18th century. This type of cornbread is prevalent in New England, particularly in Rhode Island, and also in the American Midwest, and the American South.

Baked cornbread
The most common variety, skillet-baked cornbread (often simply called skillet bread or hoecake depending on the container it's cooked in) is a traditional staple of rural cuisine in the United States, especially in the Southern United States which involves...

heating bacon drippings, lard or other oil in a heavy, well-seasoned cast iron skillet in an oven, and then pouring a batter made from cornmeal, egg and buttermilk directly into the hot grease.  The mixture is returned to the oven to bake into a large, crumbly and sometimes very moist cake with a crunchy crust.

This bread will tend to be dense, meant more as an accompaniment than as a bread meant to stand on its own. In addition to the skillet method, such cornbread can also be made in sticks, muffins or loaves. In some parts of the South it is crumbled into a glass of cold buttermilk and eaten with a spoon. In rural areas of Virginia in the mid 20th century it, accompanied by pinto beans (often called soup beans in this context) or honey, cornbread was a common lunch for poor children[citation needed]. It is still a common side dish, often served with homemade butter, chunks of onion or scallions.

Unlike fried types of cornbread, baked cornbread is a quick bread that is dependent on an egg-based protein matrix for its structure (though the addition of wheat flour adds gluten to increase its cohesiveness). The baking process gelatinizes the starch in the cornmeal, but still often leaves some hard starch to give the finished product a distinctive sandiness not typical of breads made from other grains.

Note:

Here is an example of a common jonnycake recipe
that makes eight to ten cakes:

1 cup ground white or yellow corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup milk (optional)

Combine corn meal, salt, and sugar and mix well. Gradually stir in water until mixture is smooth. It will be quite thick and the consistency of mashed potatoes. For thinner jonnycakes, add up to 1/2 cup milk or water.

Heat griddle and thoroughly grease with butter. Drop batter by tablespoons onto griddle and fry over medium heat for about six minutes or until small bubbles pop on top of the pancake. Be careful griddle is not too hot. Turn and cook on the other side for another six minutes. Serve buttered with maple or pancake syrup.
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Hushpuppies
A thicker buttermilk-based batter which is deep-fried rather than pan-fried, forms the hushpuppy, a common accompaniment to fried fish and other seafood in the South. Hushpuppy recipes vary from state to state, some including onion seasoning, chopped onions, beer, or jalapeños are used. Fried properly, the hushpuppy will be moist and yellow or white on the inside, whilst crunchy and medium to dark brown on the outside.

The name is derived from the generally accepted story that, "in the old days" (probably the antebellum South), cooks would fry up leftover morsels of dough while cooking and toss them to the dogs in order to stall the pooches' begging, hence "Hush, puppy."
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Regional tastes
In the United States, Northern and Southern corn bread are different because they generally use different types of corn meal and baking techniques.[1] Northern cooks tend to use yellow corn meal and Southern aficionados generally prefer white. They also prefer different flavorings of cornbread, with the North having a preference for sweetness and adding sugar or molasses, while saltier tastes prevail in the South, and thus favor the addition of frying the bread with such additions as cracklins. In Vermont, ground nutmeg is often added, and day-old "Johnny cake" is crumbled and served with cold milk similar to cold cereal. In Texas, the Mexican influence has spawned a hearty cornbread made with fresh or creamed corn kernels, jalapeño peppers and topped with shredded cheese.

A typical contemporary northern U.S. cornbread (referred to in the South as "Yankee Cornbread") recipe contains half wheat flour, half cornmeal, milk, eggs, leavening agent, salt, and usually sugar, resulting in a bread that is somewhat lighter and sweeter than its more traditional southern counterpart. In the border states and parts of the Upper South, a cross between the two traditions is known as "light cornbread."
Jess Ole Hillbilly Cornbread
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Corn Bread Recipe
1 1/2 cups self rising corn meal
1 1/3 cups of buttermilk
1 or 2 eggs (beat lightly)
2-3 tblsps hot vegetable oil

Crackling cornbread: Stir in 2/3 cups of pork cracklings to the mixed batter and cook as above; use cracklings made by rendering fresh, uncured pork fat to lard. Other types of cracklings, like those made from salt pork or pork rinds are not used for making cornbread.

Mexican cornbread: To the generic recipe batter, stir in 1 cup of cream corn, and all the chopped hot green peppers you think you can tolerate; you may need to decrease the amount of liquid in the basic recipe. Optional: Stir in 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese. Cook as above.










Hard pone: If you use plain meal instead of self rising meal in the generic recipe, you will get what is called a hard pone, which some people enjoy. Of course, the bread does not rise, and the bread browns slower.
resource: on southern cooking
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Southern culinary culture has readily adopted
Native American influences.

Corn meal mush
cornfritters
hominy
cornbread
brunswick stew
are a few of the more common examples of foods adopted directly from southeastern Indians.
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