“There is always a need to have cornbread around the house”. Something my great grandmother used to say. Maybe she was right. After learning about this recipe we’re going to cover below, I know she was right.
In the last post from the depths inside The Survival Blackbook, we tore out a page and included it here about how to make Pemmican like the Pioneers did. Well, we did it again. This is from the same chapter with a recipe on how to make Mormon Johnnycake.
Mormon Johnnycake: Survival Food Recipe
What Is It
As mentioned above for the need to have cornbread around in the kitchen, at all times, is cornbread. Mormon Johnnycake is essential a cornbread recipe that. It’s also similar enough to a pancake to make you question what the difference is between them. After reading this post, you’ll know more.
The English settlers in New England originally learned to make Johnnycakes from the Native Americans of that region, as the settlers were not used to the harsh New England winters. These original johnnycakes were more akin to a corn tortilla than the modern one we see today, which is thicker and rises. These early johnnycakes were dryer, had no rising agent like baking powder, stored well, and could be saved to eat throughout the harsh New England winters.
The name “johnnycake” isn’t named after a person called Johnny. Rather, it is derived from the term “jonakin,” which was a name that American Negroes called the corn cake dish made by the Native Americans. There is also a separate story that claims the cake was first called a “journey cake” and was muddled until we got the term “johnnycake,” which continues through today.
Though the johnnycake was originally cooked by Native Americans as a staple in their diet long before European settlers arrived on the continent, it has grown into a dish much enjoyed as “soul food” in the American south and is served alongside fried chicken on Sunday tables across the southern United States.
The recipe has changed just as much as the people who eat it though- the original recipe was made with cornmeal, milk or hot water, and a bit of bacon fat. It was rather thin and fat compared to the thick, high-risen and rich cake the term typically refers to today.
How To Serve
This recipe can be served as a side item, which is one of the more popular choices. Or if you’re like me, you’ll bake some planning to eat it as an entire meal which isn’t difficult to do if you know anything about cornbread with butter on it. It can become very filling rather sooner than later.
How To Make Mormon Johnnycake
The ingredients for this recipe will look very familiar to you. if you’ve ever baked anything. So for all you homesteaders and normal smart normal people in general… this will be a piece of cake to you (pun intended).
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- A baking dish or cast-iron skillet
- Mixing bowl
- Mixing spoon
Step 1) Heat It Up
Preheat your oven to 425 Fahrenheit, Then grab and coat your cast iron skillet or preferred baking dish with butter or cooking spray, then set it aside.
Step 2) Mix It Up
Mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a whisk is ideal for the mixing. Put your elbow into it too.
Step 3) Combine It Up
Once the dry ingredients are combined, add in the eggs, molasses, buttermilk, and melted butter.
While some recipes may have you mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately and then combining them, that isn’t necessary in this case as long as you mix well.
Remember, this was traditionally a survival food recipe. Baking this cake wasn’t intended to be done the way you should bake if everything is of normal circumstances. This is “we need to eat something with very limited resources and supply or we’ll die” type of food.
Step 4) Bake It Up
Pour the johnnycake batter into the prepared baking dish or skillet and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees.
Step 5) Test It
To see if the johnnycake is ready, stick a toothpick into the center of the cake and remove it. If the toothpick is clean, it’s done baking.
Now you know how to bake the cornbread that makes you want to sing Johnny Be Good. Couldn’t help mentioning the Johnny Go Go Go song…
That’s it for the instruction on how to bake johnnycake, Mormon style. Johnnycakes are often enjoyed plain, with butter, or with a bit of honey drizzled on top. Try each out to see what works best for you.