Thursday, January 17, 2013

George Washington's Hoecakes (Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes)

Becca here with a great twist on traditional pancakes.   When we were recently studying George Washington in our homeschool, we learned about his favorite breakfast, hoecakes.  He was known to eat them with butter and honey as one his favorite Mount Vernon breakfasts.  In the very interesting article I linked to above you can view the original handwritten recipe, which is on display at Mount Vernon in a "Hoecakes and Hospitality:  Cooking with Martha Washington" exhibit there for the next year or so we were actually planning on visiting but had to cancel because of pregnancy complications.  On President's Day a year or so ago we had actually followed the original recipe to make authentic hoecakes, but found the outcome less than tasty to our modern day palates I guess!  So this time around I decided to use this recipe with several adaptations for our hoecakes.  My whole family loved them, especially my husband and nearly-two-year old, who has asked for "hoecakes" several times since!  I usually add a small bit of butter to the griddle before cooking pancakes, eliminating the need for additional butter on the hoecakes, and served this with a bit of honey drizzled on top, "George Washington Style" for a really tasty and filling breakfast!  This makes a decent amount of pancakes, we heat the leftovers up in the toaster the next morning for a quick breakfast, and the kids love being able to "cook" their own breakfast.  Enjoy!

George Washington's Hoecakes (Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes)

2 cups flour (I use organic hard white wheat I ground in my Nutrimill, your favorite flour is fine)
2 cups cornmeal (I used organic popcorn I ground in my Nutrimill, any cornmeal would be fine, I'd highly recommend stone ground)
4 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free if possible)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Real Salt)
6 large eggs
3 3/4 cups milk (I use whole)
1/4 cup lemon juice (4 cups Buttermilk may be substituted instead of both the lemon juice and the milk!)
1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients - flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir well to combine.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add in eggs, milk, lemon juice, and your choice of butter or coconut oil.  Stir together just until combined, don't over mix!

Cook on lightly greased (I use a tiny amount of either butter or coconut oil) griddle or large skillet over medium-high (about 325 degrees) heat.  When hoecakes begin to bubble throughout after a couple of minutes, flip and continue cooking for another minute or so until other side is golden brown also. 

Refrigerate cooled leftovers in an airtight container, reheat the next day in the toaster.

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