Most Civil War-era cooks made Johnny cakes with only cornmeal, salt, and water. When this same batter was baked on the blade of a hoe, the resulting bread was called a hoe cake. When wrapped in leaves and cooked directly on coals, it was called ash cake.
Makes 6 cakes. Recipe is by Cynthia Nobles.
1 cup cornmeal
½ tsp. salt
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup whole milk
1 tbl. unsalted butter, melted
Butter and maple syrup or molasses for serving
1. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal and salt. Stir in boiling water.
2. In a small bowl, beat egg and milk together and add to cornmeal. Stir in butter.
3. Place a large, heavy greased frying pan over medium heat. For each cake, spoon ¼ cup batter onto the hot pan and cook 5-6 minutes on each side. Serve topped with butter and maple syrup or molasses.