Johnnycakes are different depending on where you’re eating them. In the United States, as well as many other countries, they’re cornmeal-based, which is more like a hoecake. However, in Belize, they’re flour-based, not fried, and are very close to a biscuit.
They also call these Journey Cakes because they provide you with the fuel you need to get through a long journey—and because they keep so well. After over 3 hours trekking through the countryside and up a long winding river to get to a Mayan temple you can certainly appreciate the sustenance!
They split these and make sandwiches from them. On our tour we were provided with two options: ham or chicken. Once removing the slice of ham I found they had mayonnaise along with some kind of crumbly queso fresco type cheese. Even without the meat it certainly provided the lift I needed to climb the 100 foot steep rope to the top of El Castillo!
Tomorrow I’m journeying again—though not as far—and so I plan to take these Johnnycakes and make meals for the halfway point. I’m thinking about some light vegan mayo, a dab of Dijon mustard, some baby spinach, and a few sliced Roma tomatoes. It will be almost as good as being back there again!
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, chilled, cut into ¼” pieces
2 Tbsp non-hydrogenated shortening, chilled, cut into small pieces
½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk or coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a baking sheet.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and sea salt into a medium bowl.
Add the butter or margarine and shortening.
Cut in with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly.
Stir in the milk and knead a few times until a rough dough forms.
Shape into a small log and cut into 4 even-sized pieces.
Push each piece into a circle.
Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake until lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Let cool, slice in half, and make your own traveling Johnnycake!