Total Time
9hrs 20mins
Prep 9 hrs
Cook 20 mins

General George Washington's typical breakfast has been described by members of his immediate family and several guests. His step-granddaughter, Nelly Custis Lewis, who was raised at Mount Vernon, wrote..."He rose before sunrise, always wrote or read until 7 in summer of half past seven in winter. His breakfast was then ready - he ate three small mush cakes (Indian meal) swimming in butter and honey, drank three cups of tea without cream..." "The bread business is as follows if you wish to make - 2 1/2 quarts of flour up-take at night one quart of flour, five table spoonfuls of yeast & as much lukewarm water as will make it the consistency of pancake batter, mix it in a large stone pot & set it near a warm hearth (or a moderate fire) make it at candlelight & let it remain until the next morning then add the remaining quart & a half by degrees with a spoon when well mixed let it stand 15 or 20 minutes & then bake it - of this dough in the morning, beat up a white & half of the yolk of an egg -& add as much lukewarm water as will make it like pancake batter, drop a spoonful at a time on a hoe or griddle (as we say in the south). When done on one side turn the other - the griddle must be rubbed in the first instance with a piece of beef suet or the fat of cold corned beef..." Excerpt from a letter written by Nelly Custis Lewis, Martha Washington's youngest granddaughter.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. In large container, mix together 4 cups white cornmeal, 1 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast and enough warm water (3-4 cups) to give the mixture the consistency of pancake batter. Cover and set on the stove or counter overnight. In the morning, gradually add remaining cornmeal, egg, and enough warm water to give the mixture the consistency of pancake batter (another 3-4 cups). Cover and set aside for 15-20 minutes. Add cooking grease to a griddle or skillet and heat until water sprinkled onto it will bead up. Pour batter, by the spoonful, onto the hot griddle. (Since the batter has a tendency to separate, you will need to stir it well before pouring each batch). When the hoecake is brown on one side, turn it over and brown the other. Serve warm with butter and honey.

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