We soak dried beans, dried corn, dried fruits, etc., to restore as far as possible their former moisture. Corn is so very hard and flinty that soaking in cold water has little effect, and the particles remain hard, even after the bread is baked. How is it with corn mush? The particles are softened, and the starch cells broken and ready to be acted upon by the gastric juices. The reasons then, in short, are to soften the hard, flinty particles, so that the digestive fluids may readily act upon them, and to so prepare the corn that the best flavor will be brought out in cooking. All starches need very thorough cooking. Cornmeal should be scalded and allowed to swell before making into bread of any kind, if one wishes to have the finest flavor possible.
One cup granulated cornmeal, three-fourths cup boiling water, one egg, one teaspoonful sugar, one teaspoonful salt, one tablespoonful flour. To make corn griddle cakes, fill an earthen bowl with boiling water, and put the measuring cup and the wooden spoon in the bowl. Measure all the dry ingredients, except soda or baking powder, and put with the measured meal. Turn the water from the bowl, put the meal into it, and pour the boiling water on the meal; then stir, and see that the meal is thoroughly mixed. Cover and let set half an hour, when it should be about cold. Put the yolk of the egg in, and stir until thoroughly incorporated, put in enough cold milk to make the batter as thin as it can be without running over the griddle, then fold in the well-beaten white.
In some cases one can use as much boiling water as cornmeal, in other cases the meal will not absorb so much water. A larger amount of flour may be used than is given in the above formula, but the cakes are more delicate with little flour.
In serving griddle cakes, it is better never to pile them, because they lose some lightness by such treatment. In putting them on the griddle, put on a little, then put more carefully on this. You can thus have the batter much thinner than if a large quantity is put on at once.
One cup granulated cornmeal, three-fourths cup boiling water, one teaspoonful sugar, one teaspoonful salt,, one tablespoonful flour, one teaspoonful baking powder (generous). Put the baking powder and the flour aside, then proceed as in corn griddle cakes with egg, and beat in the baking powder and flour, thoroughly mixed, at the last.
One-fourth cup of cornmeal, one-fourth cup of boiling water, three tablespoonfuls of flour, one-fourth cup of milk, one-fourth teaspoonful of baking powder, one-fourth teaspoonful of sugar, one-fourth teaspoonful of salt, one teaspoonful of egg (well beaten).
Proceed in the same manner as for griddle cakes with baking powder, except, instead of the baking powder, mix with the flour one-half teaspoonful of soda for every cup of sour milk used.