Southern delicacy – hot water cornbread. It’s light with a fluffy interior, but super crispy exterior.
Simple and humble ingredients come together for a delicious accompaniment to any legit Southern classic menu.
Hot water cornbread is top 5 of my Grandma’s recipes I enjoyed the most. Probably cause it paired well with pretty much everything.
What Is Hot Water Cornbread?
Hot water cornbread is a fried version of traditional cornbread. A corn meal based batter is combined with boiling hot water, formed into patties, and then fried in oil quickly.
The hot water keeps these moist and dropping them in the fryer makes them crispy and flavorful.
Hot Water Cornbread Ingredients
Cornmeal (Yellow) – Provides color, grittiness, and flavor
Sugar – cooks are mixed on this with half preferring it and others against. I ‘m team sugar for balance.
Salt – flavor enhancer that brings out the corn flavor even more.
Pepper – I like mine peppery. The pepper adds a bit of bite and balance against the sugar/
Boiled Water – can’t make hot water cornbread without hot water. It binds and moistens.
Pork crackling (optional) – You won’t see crackling in many recipes. Grandma liked adding the crunchy pieces which makes these fun to eat.
How to make hot water cornbread
These are as simple as it gets. Simply mix the dried batter ingredients, add boiling water, shape the patties and fry.
To make this recipe you start by making the basis for the dough and then slowly add boiling water to the mixture. You’re looking for a firm dough that can be molded by hand, so it’s best to add the water sparingly until the texture is just right.
Then the cornbread is molded into patties before being fried in hot oil for 3-5 minutes each side. If you fry several at a time in a larger skillet (cast iron was my Mom’s pan of choice for anything cornbread-related) you’ll find this satisfying recipe comes together very quickly.
Cooking Hot Water Cornbread Considerations
Don’t be in a rush to add all the water at once. Add it incrementally until you gut the texture you want. The thicker the batter the more dense the finished patties.
Mold the patties into whatever shapes you want/ You can make them as roughly shaped or uniformed as you desire.
Serve hot water cornbread piping hot, right out of the grease.
The taste profile will be shaped greatly by your salt to sugar ratio.
Recipe calls for adding in pork crackling. This is purely a texture play, but does level up the flavor. Chef Todd Richards adds popcorn to his. I’ve never tried it, but can see the application.
The batter will be sticky, so feel free to oil your hands (butter, canola, or cooking spray all work) to keep the batter from sticking in your hands.
Use yellow cornmeal vs white to ensure that nice golden color.
Eat this as a bread accompaniment to any meal. You can also make a big batch of them for snacking, dipping, or my favorite sopping. Pairing them with a big bowl of beans or collard greens allows you to sop all the delicious liquid from each.
If you make these on the sweeter side, they are damn near as good as your favorite pancakes.
Make this Recipe
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- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 cups water boiled
- 1 tbsp crumbled pork crackling optional
- Pre-heat fryer to 375 degrees F
- Stir together the cornmeal, sugar, and salt in large mixing bowl.
- Add the black pepper and mix.
- Add the boiling water and stir until combined. Let sit 5 minutes
- If using add the crackling.
- Using your hands shape mixture into patties and fry 2-3 minutes. Remove and drain on a cooling rack (baking sheet lined with wire rack).