Philpy Bread

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Philpy, a rice bread unique to the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry, can be traced back to eighteenth-century plantation culture and is a first cousin to cornbread and johnnycakes. I know nothing about the origins of the name. Recipes today are found in only the most obscure regional cookbooks, and I became familiar with the bread only when my friend “Hoppin’” John Taylor (the major spokesman for Lowcountry cookery) introduced it to my mother and me about fifteen years ago, when we were visiting him in Charleston. John makes his philpy the old-fashioned way, in a cast-iron skillet, but the more I tinkered with and modernized the bread, the more inclined I was to bake it in loaves that could be sliced more easily. Either way, the bread is delicious slathered with plenty of butter.


  • Bacon grease
  • 2 cups long-grain rice, cooked till soft
  • 1 cup regular buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease two 9 by 5 by 3–inch loaf pans with bacon grease and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, buttermilk, and eggs and mash the mixture with a potato masher till well blended and smooth. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir till well blended. Add the dry mixture to the rice mixture, stir till well blended, and scrape equal amounts of batter into the prepared pans. Bake till almost golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm.