Have you ever eaten a slightly tough, crunchy cornbread and wondered what makes it so different from soft, fluffy traditional cornbread?
You might have been enjoying what is known as hot water cornbread, and it’s a Southern United States staple that is popular throughout much of that region.
What Is Hot Water Cornbread?
This is a super simple cornbread to make, requiring just a few minutes, so it’s a good time saver compared to regular cornbread. Instead of making it in the oven, you make it with hot water, and you only need a few ingredients.
It comes out with a different texture than regular cornbread, so it may not be cornbread like you are used to, but it is really tasty and a great way to make some cornbread in a pinch.
How to Make Hot Water Cornbread
I want to share with you a very quick and easy method for making hot water cornbread. It uses a very limited set of ingredients and can be made in just a few minutes, so why not give it a try?
You just combine all of your ingredients in a bowl- salt, sugar, cornmeal and boiling hot water. The consistency of the cornbread is up to you, and you can adjust it as needed with the amount of water you want to use.
Some people like theirs to be kind of thick, whereas others like a thinner cornbread. If you use too much water, your cornbread will come out kind of loose.
I would suggest following my directions closely the first time you make it and then make adjustments the next time to make it more to your liking, if you aren’t happy with the way it turned out.
The recipe I follow calls for a cup and a half of water, and then I mix that into my dry ingredients and combine everything together. I give the consistency a check at that point to see if more water needs to be added. I only add in a little bit at a time so I don’t overdo it.
Once all of my ingredients are mixed together, I spoon out a little at a time into hot oil on the stovetop and fry it up.
The oil you use will determine how your cornbread turns out. I prefer canola or vegetable oil, and I heat up the oil to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I use a bland oil like those mentioned because I don’t want the oil’s flavor to overpower the cornbread.
Hot water cornbread has a sweet and subtle taste, just like regular cornbread, and you want to make sure that whatever you cook it in or top it with is subtle so that the cornbread flavor can really shine.
You fry up the cornbread in the oil, flipping it over after a couple of minutes to cook on both sides, and then drain it out. I set my finished cornbread patties on paper towels to get rid of the excess oil. Once it has cooled, it is ready to eat.
Why Is It Called Hot Water Cornbread?
The name comes from the fact that you use boiling hot water to make the cornbread as opposed to milk. The hot water cooks the ingredients slightly before you ever put your batter into the oil.
That’s why you don’t need to bake it in the oven, and of course you end up with a cornbread that has a very different texture from traditional baked cornbread.
How To Cook Hot water Cornbread
I’ve given you a brief overview already on making hot water cornbread, but now I want to provide you with a straightforward recipe for how to make hot water cornbread on top of the stove.
- 2 cups of yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 2/3- 2 cups of boiling hot water
- Vegetable oil to fry in
- Combine sugar, salt, and cornmeal in a bowl with boiling water. Whisk together.
- Pour oil into a skillet on the stovetop and heat on medium heat. The temperature should reach 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drop the batter into the hot oil two tablespoons at a time. Cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes apiece.
- When the cornbread is done cooking, allow the cornbread to dry on paper towels on a plate and pat dry to get rid of the excess oil.
How to Make Sweet Hot Water Cornbread
The recipe I gave you above is fairly sweet, but you can make it sweeter if you like. Just add some extra sugar to the recipe.
You can try out the recipe I have you and then add sugar as needed by a teaspoon or two at once to see how it tastes.
You can always fry up a small portion of the batter and taste the finished product and then add more sugar to the remaining batter as needed.
To make this dish more of a dessert, try spring it with confectioner’s sugar to make something similar to the Cajun dish beignets. You could also pour some maple syrup over the top of the cornbread.
How to Make Hot Water Cornbread Using Jiffy Mix
You can use Jiffy mix to make cornbread as well without having to bake your batter in the oven. Jiffy mix is designed to be used with milk, but you can substitute in water and melted butter to make it up as well.
Try it with boiling hot water and fry up the batter in hot oil to make hot water cornbread with Jiffy mix. This can give you a different flavor and texture than the recipe I gave you above, and it may be a simpler alternative for you or just a different way to make the dish.
If you have never had hot water cornbread before or you never tried to make it yourself, now you know how easy it is to prepare. It’s much easier than traditional cornbread, so give it a try the next time you have a craving for cornbread.