Hot Water Cornbread is a Southern staple. But even back in Cameroon and most parts of Africa, cornmeal is an integral part of our diet. I already lost count on how many “corny treats” there are, and each of them is dear to my heart.
What Makes Hot Water Cornbread Different?
You can prepare these corn treats in ball forms like these Hush Puppies or flat like these Southern Johnny Cakes. But unlike those two cornmeal recipes, this Hot Water Cornbread doesn’t contain any leavening agent, and it usually calls for just three basic ingredients (say what!? 😉). However, if you’re like me and don’t want to settle for a bland recipe, I’d say throw in a tad of sugar or salt to add flavor.
- Cornmeal – A coarsely ground flour made from corn kernels that gives recipes a strong corn flavor. Cornmeal should not be confused with corn flour or cornstarch (British English, cornflour), with a much finer consistency.
- Salt – end using salt in this recipe to make it more flavorful, but you can always leave it out if you are on a low sodium diet or replace it with your favorite herbs or spices.
- Sugar –This is another ingredient you can omit if you wish. You could also use a natural sweetener if you prefer, like honey or maple syrup.
- Onion – A pungent veggie that adds a nice layer of flavor, in this case, complementing and accentuating the corn flavor. But you can leave it out if you prefer.
- Butter – Butter adds a moist, flavorful touch to recipes and is also good for frying and sautéing at lower temperatures! Replace butter with margarine or cooking oil but be aware this will slightly alter the texture and taste of these delicious hot water cornbread patties.
How to Make Hot Water Cornbread
Mix the Ingredients
- Mix Dry Ingredients – Mix cornmeal, salt, sugar, grated onion, melted butter in a large bowl. (Photos 1-2)
- Add boiling water and throughly mix until the cornbread mixture is smooth. (Photos 3-4)
Fry the Cornbread
- Heat oil in a cast iron or frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Form the Dough – If using your hands, wet them, then scoop about three tablespoons of the batter at a time into the palm of your hand. Flatten the dough, then gently drop it into the oil. Alternatively, use a spoon to drop dough balls of the same size into the oil. (Photo 5)
- Final Stretch – Fry each cornbread until brown and crisp; turn with a spatula, and then brown the other side. It should take about 3-5 minutes. (Photo 6)
- Drain – Remove the cornbread from the oil and drain it on paper towels.
- Serve when cool enough to handle.
- Spice up these hot water cornbread by adding a cup of roasted chopped jalapenos or a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne into the batter.
- You can also add dried herbs into the mix for that herby flavors.
- Want a little New Orleans flair instead? Try adding 1/4 teaspoon of this homemade Cajun seasoning.
Tips and Tricks
- Keep the batter on the thicker side for a soft and dense cornbread patty. If you prefer a crunchier patty, you’ll want to keep the batter a little thinner. Try making one or two test patties, and then adjust your batter accordingly.
- To lighten the texture of your cornbread, replace two tablespoons of cornmeal with two tablespoons of flour.
- These cornbread patties also make a great snack. Dip them in maple or can syrup for a sweet treat. 😋
You can always make the cornbread batter the day before if you need to. Simply follow the recipe to make the batter and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until the next day. Take the batter out when you are ready to continue and fry the patties according to the recipe.
Serving and Storing Instructions
These cornbread patties are most delicious fresh out of the skillet. Serve them alongside your favorite homestyle meal or as an afternoon snack with syrup or a dipping sauce.
Store extra hot water cornbread in an airtight container. It’ll stay good for 1-3 days at room temperature and 3-5 days in the fridge.
To reheat this cornbread, simply place it in the oven at 350℉/177℃ for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. I like using my countertop toaster oven for this. Easy peasy!
The name “hot water cornbread” points back to the cooking method in which hot water softens the cornmeal before forming it into patties and frying them in the skillet.
If you’re having trouble keeping your cornbread together, it could be that your batter is too dry. Try adding more water in small increments until the batter, and the finished product, hold together better.
What to Serve with Hot Water Cornbread
More Recipes to Try
Watch How to Make It
[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”RMP1bnQ3″ upload-date=”Mon Aug 06 2018 19:57:54 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)” name=”Hot Water Cornbread” description=”Hot Water Cornbread – warm, crispy edges and soft center fried cornmeal patties that serves as snacks and a wonderful side to any greens, beans, soups and even fried dishes. So easy to make with less ingredients!”]
This blog post was first published in March 2018 and has been updated with an additional write-up, new photos, and a video.
Hot Water Cornbread
- 2 cups (244 g) cornmeal (yellow or white)
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
- 2 tablespoon s (25 g) sugar
- ¼ cup (29 g) onion, grated or chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon s (14-28 g) butter, melted
- 1 cup (or more) (240 ml)boiling water
- Mix cornmeal, salt, sugar, grated onion, and melted butter in a large bowl, then add the boiling water. Thoroughly mix until the cornbread mixture is smooth.
- Heat oil in a cast iron or frying pan over medium-high heat.
- If using your hands, wet them, then scoop about three tablespoons of batter into the palm of your hand. If the mixture crumbles, add more water. Flatten, then gently drop them into the oil or use a spoon to drop them in.
- Fry each cornbread until brown and crisp; turn with a spatula, and then brown the other side for about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove, drain on paper towels and serve immediately with greens and pinto beans or breakfast.
Tips & Notes:
- If you want soft and dense batter, you can have a thick batter, but if you love that crunch, you can make your batter thin with the consistency of oatmeal.
- To lighten the texture of your cornbread, replace 2 tablespoons of cornmeal with 2 tablespoons of flour.
- You can also snack on these with maple or cane syrup as toppings.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.