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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Southern Fried Bread

I've heard fried bread refer to to anything from Native American fry bread to pain de mie, to Yorkshire fried bread... even hush puppies. My family, being a rather volatile mix of Irish, French, English, Scottish and Cheraw Indian likely made all of the above and many of which i am unaware. My grandmother generally cooked two types, not including french toast. One was just called "flour bread". It was a simple biscuit dough made with self rising flour, milk and lard, cooked at a low temp on the stove top, in a seasoned or very lightly greased cast iron pan. You simply spoon it in like a big, thick pancake and turn it over to brown on each side. Once it is a medium brown with little black spots (much like pan fried chicken), it will be done on the inside. She would make this on mornings when she didn't have time to bake biscuits. The other, which was served at every dinner, was pan fried cornbread. This is just a medium/thin slurry of stone ground cornmeal, salt and water, (no sugar) spooned into a heavily greased cast iron pan and fried at medium temp. It forms small patties that are dense in the center, with lacy, crispy edges. There is absolutely nothing better with a big plate of collard greens topped with hot, pickled peppers! The Lumbee Indians Eat a sandwich of these cornbread patties, with collards and fried fatback in between.

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