Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hoecake - An Oven Free Biscuit

My mom always made lots and lots of biscuits when I was growing up.  Given my age...dot, dot, dot, (LOL), some of the homes I grew up in didn't always have air conditioning, eek... hot, hot, hot.  That was also before eating out became quite so "acceptable" nor were we able to find so many prepackaged items for meals - so my mom ALWAYS cooked supper - from scratch - with real food.  No matter how long her workday was or how hot it was, she always cooked supper (and we weren't overweight... go figure).  Usually we had meat, a starch, a vegetable, and either biscuits or cornbread.  If we had spaghetti or tuna casserole, we still had some sort of bread.  Sometimes the bread was my favorite part of supper, since we also wouldn't EVER consider telling my mom "I don't like that."  We just ate it and that was that.

When our kitchen was blazing hot, it was a real NO-NO to turn on the oven for obvious reasons.  Mom used to make a hoecake biscuit instead of baking biscuits in the oven.  Well... correct that, she still does make hoecake biscuits.  My husband really LOVES these hoecakes and it took me a little practice to get them just right, but I finally figured it out.  (There's something about being young and trying to cook everything on high... LOL.  I finally figured out that some things have cook slowly, like this hoecake biscuit.)

The recipe is really a lot like my biscuit recipe but only half as much.  My mom cooks hers in a Teflon, non-stick skillet, but I don't use non-stick products so I used my iron skillet.  The edges turn out crispy and the whole thing is just delicious!

Here is how I make a Hoecake AT HOME MY WAY:

Hoecake - Biscuit
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening/butter or margarine
  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon oil (keep separate from above ingred.)
Combine flour, baking powder, salt.  Cut in shortening/ butter/margarine.  I use a pastry blender but you can use a fork or two knives.  Stir in the milk and stir well to blend.
It should look like this:
Place oil in skillet (non-stick or iron skillet).  Spread well to cover the entire surface.  Start heating the skillet on low.
Before the skillet gets too hot, dump the dough in.  Sprinkle with a little flour and using  your hands press the dough into a disc shape that is about 1 inch thick.  (Be careful not to press down too far where the skillet is heating.)

The skillet should be on medium low.  Cover with a lid and cook.
Not a great picture, I know, but I like to see in there so I use an extra big glass lid that I got from a thrift store.  It works great.
Cook with the lid until the hoecake swells up and the underneath starts to brown.  See how it has swelled up and is sizzling?
When the bottom is brown. Use a big pancake turner and flip it over carefully (Make sure that it has cooked with a lid, slowly, to allow time for the middle to cook and firm up.)
I just about let mine get to browned.  But it tasted great!
Cover with the lid again and continue to cook until the underneath is cooked as well.
I cut mine into wedges and serve with butter, jelly, honey, or molasses.  We had ours with this yummy supper - Crockpot Round Steak & Mushroom Gravy over egg noodles (recipe coming tomorrow), and peas.  What a feast - and for a Monday!  Woo hoo!
Hoecakes would be great for breakfast instead of biscuits - especially when it's too hot for the oven, or for camping.  I hope you like them as much as we do!  This guy?  He LOVES hoecakes as much as he loves the drinks in his new cooler! 


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