In a glass measuring cup, add the warm water, stir in the yeast and the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and let bloom until foamy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt and brown sugar in a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture into dry ingredients. Combine the buttermilk and eggs in the same measuring cup used for the yeast, and add it to the yeast and flour mixture. Mix well with a whisk. Set aside for 10 minutes.
In a large nonstick skillet over high heat, add 1/3 of the oil and a tablespoon of the butter and heat until hot. Ladle 2 ounces of batter per cake into the pan, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip, and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove the cake to a towel lined plate, then sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding additional oil and butter per batch. Arrange the hoe cakes on a serving platter and serve immediately with Hot Molasses Butter.
Hot Molasses Butter:
In a small bowl, beat the butter with a hand mixer until light and creamy. Add the salt, cayenne, and molasses and mix well.
Guy's Tip: If you have time, turn the butter mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a cylinder. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Slice into 1/4-inch rounds and serve with Hoe Cakes.