Pone Bread

My husband remembers his grandmother making something called ‘pone bread’ when he was young. All he remembers of making it though is that she baked it in an iron skillet. His family doesn’t remember how to make it either. I would love to learn thi

s recipe to surprise him with when he comes home. We live in west Virginia and he works in Florida for three to four weeks at a time. If you can help, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks, Heather Hall

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amanda - December 3, 2009

I found this on allrecipes.com-I hope it’s what your husband was looking for. I’m going to try it!

1/4 cup canola oil 1 1/2 cups white cornmeal 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 1/3 cups buttermilk 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place a 9 inch cast iron skillet on the center rack.
When the skillet is hot, carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Pour the canola oil into the skillet and gently swirl the pan to coat the bottom and the sides. Return the pan to the oven for ten minutes.
While the oil is heating, mix together the cornmeal and salt in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and buttermilk and mix together to make a thin batter.
Carefully pull out the rack with the cast iron skillet and pour the batter into the preheated skillet.
Bake the corn pone until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. If desired, turn the oven to broil for the last few minutes of baking to brown the top.
Remove the skillet from the oven and shake the pan to loosen the corn pone from the skillet. Serve the corn pone warm from the skillet or turn out onto a plate.

Carrie - December 3, 2009

I make something like this. I just take yellow cornbread mix and make it according to directions, then thin it a bit to about pancake batter consistancy with water or milk. Then cook like pancakes. I use a non-stick frying pan, but that is just because I do not have any cast iron.
It will brown more than pancakes because of there is more sugar in the corn bread mix than in pancake mix.

    peggy - January 10, 2013

    I lost the recipe but it was not dry it wet type it was very good the older women made it and looking for the recipe I would like to make it the women are dead and gone sorry I don’t have their recipes they could cook

      Greg - February 23, 2013

      one cup self rising flour
      add water so it is not too thin and lumpy
      poor in skillet with heated butter cover with lid
      fry and try not to burn add butter around side of bread if needed
      flip when brown and brown the other side and add butter around sides of loaf.
      Now get to work whomen .

        johnny Doe - October 4, 2015

        Now that sounds more like my Granny Garrett used to make. I knew it was VERY VERY SIMPLE but decades have passed since I made some. It’s like a giant pancake. Granny was born in Harlan Kentucky just 30 miles west of W Va in the 1890”s My grandfather was a coal minner They raised ten kids so I am almost certain it was made the simple way that was mentioned in the 2009′ post above. Despite its simplistic way it was delicious. I never understood the reason for the cast iron pan. Maybe iron spreads tempature better. Granny smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day and they lived off the land. My grandfather did a little Moonshinning for the Feds but drank most of his profits. My Granny died right before her 90th birthday my grandpa’s right before.

        They lived off a lot of fatback gravy and eggs almost all the stuff that’s suppose to kill ya. I loved my granny’s rubarb pie. Plus it grew wild all around the well. I loved eating it raw. It must be high in antioxidants ( just a guess) for they and their kids should have had a lot of heart disease. Coal mining is hard work and both of them raised the crops without powered devices. It was worth the drive just to eat special dinners at granny’s. Matha Stewart had nothing on my Granny for making dinner out of a dime. Canning beans berries you name it.

        Thanks very much for the post I think I’ll make some tonight but nocasy iron pan here.. If anyone knows how to make a similar concoction a simple potatoe pancake. Gosh I love those. They are weird its not so much the ingredient from memory but how and when to flip or bake or fry. Any input appreciated.

        I live in Miami. If you ask for a rubarb pie or rubarb you get a weird look. On the other hand if you ask for black beans or yuka (a very sriggy potatoe) they will take you right to it.. I’ll be looking forward to a simple potatoes pancake post ( its probably the same as Pon Bread but with onions and tiny square home frie like potatoes. Am I close?

Christine - December 4, 2009

My mom used to make it too. It was just made from extra biscuit dough that she had let over and mounded up in an iron skillet then baked just like any other bread. Anytime you have extra biscuit dough you can do this just make sure you grease the top a little with whatever oil you use for biscuit dough.

    Anthony - November 7, 2011

    Very good!!! I was looking for bread recipes and saw this. I too am from WV and love to make pone bread its simple and easy. While those guys are tryin to make cornbread and fritters lol.

    Tabby - August 11, 2013

    Christine is right-my grandmother makes pone bread. I thought that pone bread was cornbread until I asked her and she said no, it’s biscuit bread. You use the same ingredients for biscuits only you make it thinner like batter and bake it in the oven. All my grandmother does is mix self-rising flower, milk, and hot, melted lard (or cooking oil) in a bowl until it’s the consistency she wants it (she never measures-most grandmas don’t because they’ve got everything memorized!) and she pours it in a greased pan and then puts a little melted lard on top (to brown the top). She bakes at 350 until browned on top. I hope this helps!! Maybe you can practice different ideas and recipes until you make it your own and get it how you want it! :) Good luck!

Falice Young - December 9, 2009

I believe this is what is referred to in the South as “corn pone”, and I did a search online for that and came up with multiple recipes. Basically all are made with corn meal, boiling water, sugar, salt, and butter. No eggs.

SUSIE - December 10, 2009


Amanda - December 17, 2009

My grandma always talked about making a “pone of cornbread” and I always assumed it was just a pan of cornbread, because that’s what we had after she talked about making it. lol. There are so many things I wish I had learned from her before she died. I guess what a pone is just depends on where you grew up. She grew up in north Georgia, in the mountains so…..

nanarll - January 18, 2010

This is how my mom and granny made pone bread. They fried theirs in an iron skillet and served them with pinto beans. They hailed from Southern Kentucky.

4 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar – or more to taste
1 tsp. soda
2 eggs
1/3 c. oil – or melted & cooled shortening
1 c. water
1 c. buttermilk – or regular milk with a little vinegar added

Combine dry ingredients. Stir in wet ingredients. Pour into a heated greased skillet or baking pan. Fry, or bake at 400 degrees until done.

Anna bryant - November 15, 2010

I also live in WV. Our Pone o’ bread was just when we used buttermilk biscuit dough, and didn’t cut it out, greased a cast iron skillet with bacon grease and cooked it that way. You just ripped a piece off the pone to eat.

    Brian Patterson - September 4, 2013

    That’s how my 90 yr old grandma in NC makes what she calls “pone bread”, which she also refers to as “wheat bread” . I also use a packet of biscuit mix, just add water, then pour into a cast iron skillet. Grandma dusts the pone with a pinch of flour.

bill - December 6, 2010

my mom made with 4 c flour 1tsp salt 2 eggs 1ts baking powder 1/3 c oil 1 c water 1 c buttermilk.she was born and raised in eastern ky for 95 years and never changed the recipe.the cast iron skillet is a must. served with cow butter it dont get no better.

E. Sly - March 10, 2011

In the 1930s in central GA my grandmother made corn pone. Somehow she made a stiff mixture of coarse corn meal and water? or milk? probably a little salt, maybe an egg? Anyway she molded the mixture into a shape like half a football with ridges where her fingers worked it, put it on an iron skillet and into a hot wood-burning stove (no electricity there!). It came out of the oven in the same football shape with a very thick hard crust and cooked coarse cornbread in the middle. We slathered the bread with butter fresh from the churn and soaked the crust in pot likker (broth from collard or turnip greens) and this is how we managed during the great depression. When we later moved to Atlanta I asked my mother to make corn pone and she said she couldn’t because we didn’t have a wood-burning stove. I never knew if this was true or just an excuse!

    gnash - September 4, 2012

    OMG! THAT’S the exact description of how my mom made it. I could eat a whole tub of her pot liquor/likker? (We never spelled it, we just ate it!) And unfortunately for me, she never wrote down the recipe. Now that she’s gone, I sure miss that pone bread! She grew up in MS. Thanks for posting! It’s the first one I’ve read that is even close to hers.

    cecil - November 10, 2012

    My former mother in law made corn pone on sunday after church. Poor man’s corn pone is not a pone of cornbread. It is cornmeal, salt and boiling water mix to a thick paste. Not a lot of people would make it because it is tough on the hands. It is added to a cast iron skillet that has hot oil or lard. The thickness is about one-half inch. Cook until very brown. Some people would call it fried cornbread. It was a staple of the Cherokee. It is good with gravey over it. This takes me back many years.

    sandy - October 15, 2013

    Skip all the pancake style recipes. This is the traditional fried pone recipe. A
    must with a pot of brown beans with sliced onions and pickles on the table. If it’s been a good week, make chicken fried steak too. This is from my long-gone mother in law, who served ten or more at dinner (we say lunch but in West Texas it’s dinner). Heat Crisco in a heavy skillet to about two inches.
    While it’s heating, boil some water in your electric kettle or saucepan. Mix about 2 1/2 cups cornmeal with a teaspoon of salt and another teaspoon of baking powder, though I have sometimes skipped the baking powder. Do not add milk, eggs, or any fancy dancy stuff! Add enough boiling water to make a thick mush–pat into rounds — you will be hopping around the kitchen trying not to get burned, because it’s HOT. Press with fingers to hold together into ovals — the marks of your fingers will be there. Lay gently into the hot grease. Don’t crowd the pan. When nice and crisp on bottom, turn over and finish up the other side–set these on paper towels to drain off extra grease while you make up the rest of your corn pones. Serve hot with butter and honey. By the way, my much loved mom in law called them dog breads rather than pone. When I asked her why, she said, because we always throw the leftovers to the dog! As I researched corn pone, it turns out this fried method was much preferred by Native American tribes and for sure, it’s my favorite too. Amounts — less water than cornmeal — maybe a cup and a half boiling water to 2 1/2 cups cornmeal. Always yellow, not white. Have fun. Lots of butter — quit worrying about cholesterol. You don’t get to have traditional food very often, so relax and enjoy it.

Ggg - March 28, 2011

I grew up in Huntington WV, my Granny use to make Pone Bread all the time, it was always made in her iron skillet and always with buttermilk and Shortening the same way she mixed her Biscuits. The pone bread was basically a giant biscuit, great with beef and potato’s, any kind of beans, heck I always wanted sandwiches made using it, like a fried ham or bologna with tomato and mayo!! When I was young I went to work at a local factory, I moved in with them so I could get up early and she always packed my lunch, every day the men would gather round to see what she made me, you wouldnt believe what a pone or biscuit sandwich could be worth. Isn’t it funny what holds a special place in our hearts?

Adrien - March 31, 2011

Pone Bread is simply biscuit dough baked in a pan, rather than made into biscuits. Just take your favorite biscuit recipe and pour it in your skillet :)

Jassie Singh - May 22, 2011

All of these answers are very interesting! I was actally looking for a sweet, sticky bread that we make in Trinidad, using Grated Cassava, Pumpkin or sweet potato and Coconut. Sugar, spices and margarine are added, and it is baked in the oven for an hour or more, until you get this crust on top! I wanted to see if there is a Sweet Potato version, which I have heard about, but never tasted.
Actually, my mother makes a great CASSAVA PONE (we do not use the term “pone bread”). If anyone wants the recipe, feel free to ask, and I will post it!

Amanda - July 6, 2011

We used to call this Pone Pone when we were kids.

Patricia - July 19, 2011

A pone of bread is made with the same recipe for biscuits except it is slow fried (low heat), on top of the stove, in an iron skillet with a lid. It is flipped once half way thru baking. A corn pone is cornbread baked in an iron skillet in the oven (cornbread). My family is from the Applachian region of W. Va. & Eastern Ky and my Mom and G-Ma made both types of bread. Pone just means the bread is baked in an iron skillet, uncut. It was easier to bake for a big family than to take time to preportion into individual servings such as biscuits or cornbread sticks.

Gay Lynn Baldwin - August 17, 2011

My mom used to cook what she called Suzy Pone. It was like others have mentioned in previous comments: a giant biscuit cooked in an iron skillet. She mostly cooked this when she was in a hurry to get bread on the table for a hard working husband and seven hungry children!

Betty - November 5, 2011

I’m from MO my Momma an Gramma were from AR…If we had fried Cornbread it was “corn pone” if it was made with flour we called it “slunge pone” I’ve never heard it called that by anyone else. It used to embarrass me ’cause we didn’t get “store bought bread” But with 9 kids and always some uncles around the table I can now understand .

beth - May 24, 2012

Ladies, here is the various southern breads almost lost from our memories. My Mama’s family came here in the 1600’s and came through GA, NC,SC,FL. my Daddy’s 1700’s from NC, SC,TN,GA ,AL,FL The south is all we have known, here is some southern breads.
My Goergia Granny made Hot Water Corn Bread out of corn meal, hot water, salt, oil. Poured on to the thin flat iron skillet and cooked stove top it soo good. (Paula Dean calls this a hoe cake only my Granny’s was larger then Paul’s hoe cakes)
Real Hoe Cakes ( flour, water, oil/lard/crisco) My north Florida Granny (Big Mama) made these stove top in a little grease about like like a pan-cake – soo good o my sooo good.
My 4 times great Granny (Alabama) passed down this-
Fried Corn Bread (Alabama brand white corn meal, water, salt) fried like a hush puppy but no onions and flatter like a thin biscuit) then the corn bread variations.
Pon Bread that my 5 times great granny passed down from the Carolina mountains in the 1700’s (white corn meal, salt, water or buttermilk, oil or lard) mix all together (not too loose about like oatmeal) take a cast iron pan oil it plenty of oil or lard, get it hot in 475 oven, pat out a Pone and lay in one side of the pan, then another pone on other side of iron skillet take oil and pat the top of the pones and leave your finger prints (that’s the love) this bakes in a hot oven, gets cripsy/hard golden brown inside is a little mushy . so good with pot liquor or beans and peas sop up the juice o my—so ggoood.
Of course Biscuits (we all have our Grannies)
o my Lord, we southern folks have THE BEST FOOD. Ladies, Get Your History out and cook it.

    The Hillbilly Housewife - May 25, 2012

    Thank you, Beth, for sharing all these fabulous recipes from your family. I absolutely LOVED this – “Get your history out and cook it.” That says it all so perfectly!

    Peggy Stewart - March 2, 2013

    Thankyou so much for the history of your family and the recipes! My family in Canada came north from upper New York State in the early 1700s, so I guess we are Red Coats!! Even so, my mother worked for a woman from Alabama who lived in Toronto, Canada. She taught my Mom some wonderful recipes which I use even today and have taught to my daughter and granddaughter. One of these recipes was for a “cobbler”. this was not a cobbler like you see in recipe books. It was made in a deep dish and the dish was lined with pastry with lots of pastry leftover, flopped over the side of the dish – into this you put peaches or raspberries, pile them high and then put lots of sugar, flop the leftover pastry over the fruit and then pour water down the sides till you see it show when you tip the dish. More sugar on top. This is absolutely wonderful – have you ever heard of a dish similar to this? Let me know.

price7360 - July 3, 2012

I too remember what Grandma called “Pone Bread”. As I remember it she all ways cooked for a rather large family and she would make two batches of dough. The first she cut out as many biscuits as possible and mix the left over dough with the second batch. She would then roll it out to fit a large cookie sheet and it would come out looking like a big biscuit. To eat it you just pulled off a piece and use it as you would a biscuit. To me they taste the same but Grandpa would not eat a biscuit.

price7360 - July 3, 2012

There is a difference between “Pone Bread” and Corn Bread.

CoachTurner - November 13, 2012

Hey y’all

Some confusion can be easily eliminated with some old words: A “pone” is the shape and method of cooking it. Like “loaf” goes in a particular shaped pan to bake it. The pone is traditionally cooked in a round cast iron skillet either baked in the oven or right over the fire with a lid. [but not on the stove top – that’s a different critter]

Whether it’s “corn pone”, “biscuit pone”, “wheat pone”, etc… just depends on what sort of dough you’re cooking in that skillet. Some even make sweet pone by adding sugar or a pone-pone by mixing flour and cornmeal in the same bread. Which dough you use isn’t what makes it “a pone” – that it’s been baked in that cast iron skillet to that shape makes it “a pone” and not “a loaf”. If you pan fry it or griddle it, it’s “a cake” such as pancake, johnny cake, hoe cake, etc… but essentially the same (though thinner) dough. If you deep fry it, it becomes “a fritter” and they’re real good too. Same dough (though thicker) often with stuff mixed in. If you boil it (about as thick as a drop biscuit), it’s “a dumpling”.

Pone Bread can be any bread dough prepared this way. Just toss it in the greased, pre-heated cast iron into a medium oven and bake away. I usually get interested in how done it is at about 25mins.

So, if you want a Biscuit Pone (really one really big biscuit) then mix a batch of your favorite biscuit dough a little thick and don’t overwork it. Preheat a greased cast iron skillet big enough to hold that dough (I make mine small, most folks use a 10″), toss it in the medium over (abt 350F) and let it go about 25 mins before you try the toothpick test. (exact same deal for any other dough though some bake up faster or slower and some will rise a lot)

Bacon fat or lard are the traditional greasers for that pan. This is a good thing because the fat seasons the pan and the bread dries it off. Great way to care for the cast iron. You can toss all sorts of bits ‘n pieces in it too. Of course, over the years they all became about the same as each other – but that’s how it were long-long ago.

    The Hillbilly Housewife - November 13, 2012

    Thank you, CoachTurner, for this impressive reply to the request for a pone recipe. It seems there are a lot of twists and turns to “pone.” I am thinking it would be very advantageous to put your reply in the Articles section so more people will find it when they search. I’ll link back here when I do. Thank you again for taking the time to offer us this great description.

johnny hurst - November 29, 2012

My grandma was from Georgia. We lived in Tennessee where she would make something called pony cakes. She used flour grease a lil milk and a smidgen of water and maybe an egg if we had one. Not positive about the egg ingredient. She always used bowls to measure, so i have no idea how much ingrediens wereused. Shed pour it into a greased hot black skillet and fry til golden brown.It was so good with pinto beans and fried taters. Man i miss granny and her cookin.

Stacey - December 3, 2012

My gosh, I hadn’t thought of corn pone in years. My mama and granny made these all the time with cornmeal, hot milk, salt, onion, an egg and oil or lard to fry. You finely dice the onion and mix it into the other ingredients; and you have to mix in enough milk to make it into a thick pancake batter. The salt and onion are really to your taste; but it does taste better saltier and onionier..if that’s a word..lol. Then you pour it into a hot cast iron skillet and fry it up. Gosh, that was good eating there ya’ll. It’s not low fat, but when you’re poor, it fills your belly up nicely. Yes it definitely goes well with the turnip green and collard green pot likker. Gosh, I need to make these for my littles; I bet they would love them.

Victoria - December 15, 2012

The pone bread we make is different it’s self rising flour and milk- just mix til it’s a thicker than pancake batter( but still thin enough to pour slowly). I explain it to people as being like a biscuit bread

Gloria Jones - August 21, 2013

As I remember and still do as five generations of black cooks, hot water corn bread is generally shaped in a pone. This particular style bread is used when serving greens (such as collards,turnips and cabbage.
The whole idea is to use your hands, break the bread and press the bread in the potlicker/greens and into the mouth. I think this a African tradition, which I have seen all my life with my family.With peas or bean we use baked corn bread same thing we crumble up the bread in with the peas or beans.The difference with hot water corn pones is it has a nice crunch with the greens. The peas or beens or a little more delicate in flavor and texture. Just add a little pepper sauce with the greens and a little chow chow with the peas or beans.

Becky - June 18, 2014

I found this while searching for something similar to my granny’s pone bread…she died when i was 8 and when i was young i could make it but over the years i had forgotten how…i know hers did NOT use corn meal…all i could remember was flour and milk going in it…and of course being baked in the oven…perhaps she added a smidgen of sugar but i do remember if she used plain flour she would have to add the salt and baking powder…guess its time to start experimenting and see if i can recreate it…i loved it best with fresh raspberry jam…and its almost time for them to start coming in….

Phillip Cochran - January 8, 2015

My Grandma made Pone Bread for me when I was little. I also seen others make it and it is a little different. I later found out that Pone bread is any type of quick bread. some call corn bread pone bread others make it like biscuit bread.

That how Grand Ma made it. It was made like biscuit’s. she mix together a wet type biscuit dough and baked it in a cast iron skillet. She told me her mommy made it like that on the days they were to tired from working in the fields on the farm. She usually made a biscuit gravy to go with it made from either bacon, sausage grease or lard. It was quick, easy, cheap and filling.

Some times she used just water in the gravy instead of milk. We never knew the difference. good for breakfast of supper.

Calo - March 1, 2015

I was born and raised in WV and well remember my mom making pone bread. Made it myself a few times. I don’t have a list of ingredients but if you can make biscuits you can make pone bread. Just make your biscuit dough and instead of cutting out biscuits. Just pat it out in a pan, iron skillet is best but any pan Will work. Bake it exactly as you would biscuits. Break off pieces and cover with gravy. DELICIOUS!

Therea - August 26, 2015

I am from the Appalachian Mountains and pone actually refers to how it is cooked. A pone of bread is cooked in a cast iron skillet pan as opposed to a loaf of bread or biscuits. Corn pone is similar to corn bread except you never use any sugar in it. A pone of biscuit bread is similar to making biscuits but your batter will be thinner (we also refer to it as cake bread). If you do it like most of our grannies did you will melt about a half a cup of lard in the oven in the skillet. Add 2 cups of self rising flour or self rising corn meal to a bowl, a cup of buttermilk, and add the melted lard. Mix all together, the batter should be thicker than cake batter but not thick enough to roll out. Pour batter in the skillet. Bake at about 450 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until bread is golden brown. So good with gravy or soups or just about anything down here in the mountains.

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