George Washington corn cakes
February 17, 2018
February 22nd marks George Washington's 285th birthday! According to his step-granddaughter, Nelly Curtis Liews, George Washington
"...rose before sunrise, always wrote or read until seven in summer or half past seven in the winter. His breakfast was then ready–he ate three small mush cakes swimming in butter and honey, and drank three cups of tea without cream."
This recipe for corn meal cakes modernizes our first President's routine breakfast. This recipe includes yeast, but the entire rising process takes place in the refrigerator so it's easy enough for a beginner to try. The cakes are satisfyingly filling thanks to the bone broth and the gluten-free corn meal. They have a pleasant crunchy texture and their flavor is complimented by a generous topping of butter and honey.
Perfect your President's Day with these historical breakfast treats.
Adapted from Serious Eats.
The night before
1Defrost the bone broth by running the container under hot water and releasing the contents into a small saucepan. Heat the broth until mostly melted and warm; to make sure the yeast is activated, it should be between 100-110 degrees. If you do not have a thermometer, wash your hands and dip your clean finger into the bone broth. It should feel warm but not hot. If it's too hot, allow it to cool before proceeding.
2Pour the warm bone broth into a medium bowl. Add the yeast and 1 cup of the cornmeal; stir to combine. The cornmeal will sink to the bottom; do not be concerned if your batter separates. Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator to slowly rise overnight.
On the day
1Remove the batter from the refrigerator. Add the remaining 1 cup of cornmeal, the salt and the egg, and whisk the ingredients together. Cover the bowl and place the batter in the refrigerator for 20 minutes longer to allow the newly added cornmeal to absorb some of the liquid.
2While waiting, heat your pan. Place a cast iron pan on a medium low burner and heat it for 20 minutes to ensure even cooking.
3Prepare an oiled towel. Pour 1/4 cup of neutral tasting, high heat oil into a small bowl. Place a clean paper towel within. This will be used to grease your pan.
4Once your pan has heated and your batter has rested, start cooking. Remove the batter from the refrigerator. Grease your pan with the oiled towel.
5Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or a small ladle), pour three portions of batter into your pan. Cook on one side until the surface looks dry from the edges through two thirds of the cake. Use a spatula to flip the cakes. Cook on the second side until they are slightly risen and dense to the touch in the center. Move the cooked corn cakes to a platter.
6Using your oiled towel, grease the pan while wiping out any crumbs from previous batches. Continue to cook cakes in batches of three until all of the batter is used (about 5 batches).
7Serve the corn cakes hot with a generous amount of butter and honey.