Johnnycake or Cornbread?
In this baking activity you will learn about the history of corn and cornbread. Corn was essential to early colonists in America, and they learned about corn from native Americans. We have three different recipes for cornbread; Johnnycake, Quick Cornbread, and Peach Johnnycake.
Before looking at the recipes and deciding which one to bake, learn about the history of corn in America and discover how it was an important part of our nation’s history and why it is now so important to our modern way of life. Also, try and answer these questions:
- Are there other names for corn?
- What is Indian Meal?
- How did Johnnycake get its name?
- What are other names for Johnnycake and cornbread?
- What other new foods did early colonists find in America?
Before Christopher Columbus came to America, corn was sacred to the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas. Learn about the Maize God.
Native American History of Corn, Learn about the Native American history of corn and uses for other parts of the corn plant - see how to make corn husk dolls.
Corn Facts, Corn products and the role of corn in the first Thanksgiving menu.
Learn about hushpuppies and corn pone in the history of Soul Food.
Maize - Gift from America’s first peoples - History of corn and its present uses - sponsored by Iowa State University.
- 9x13 inch baking pan
- Shortening, or butter to grease pan
- Two medium mixing bowls and one small
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups - dry and liquid
- electric mixer
- wire whisk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup corn meal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3-4 peaches, sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
- Streusel topping:
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, diced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
Read the recipe top to bottom first-adults and children together. Explain to children all steps and methods in advance. Discuss and answer any questions.
Have all the ingredients and utensils out and ready to go. Let children help prepare.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease 9x13 inch pan with shortening or butter.
In a medium bowl, Cream together the butter and honey on medium speed, then add the egg and mix for one minute. (The mixture may look lumpy-it is okay).
In another medium bowl Whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
Stir in the peaches and spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish.
For the streusel:
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, pecans, brown sugar and salt. Add the butter and mix by hand to form crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter in the pan.
Bake for 50 - 60 minutes. (The amount of peaches make the batter unusually moist and therefore hard to use the toothpick or cake tester method). The cake is done when it springs back when pressed ver so gently in the center.
Place baking pan on cooling rack to cool.
- After learning about the history of corn, cornbread and johnnycake, do you think you could tell which of our recipes is the oldest or most modern just by looking at the ingredients, name or baking method?
- Which recipe uses the creaming method of mixing learned in shortcakes?
- Look for other cornbread recipes you want to try next time. Or let children dream up their own creations (with your guidance), making a sweet cornbread with fruits, or savory cornbread with spices, cheese, etc.
- Go to the Home Baking Association website www.homebaking.org for more Family Fun baking activities.