This part of my life began when my very sick partner was diagnosed with Celiac. Even the slightest exposure to gluten can make him very ill for several days, so I have pursued gluten-free options with thorough aggression. In the U.S. a recent surge of gluten awareness means we have more choices than ever, but it still means hunting and analyzing and tracking down parent companies. After several years now of doing so, I want to share my tricks and tips with others who are still struggling.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Recipe Box: Flour-Free Cornbread

I grew up on Jiffy cornbread, which is really just corn-flavored bread.  When a lot of folks list cornbread recipes, they go for this classic flavor by adding a mix of gluten-free flours, gums, and sugar.  Turns out, you don't need any of that.  Classic southern cornbread is simple, slightly crumbly, and naturally gluten-free.


2 Cups cornmeal*
2 Cups buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup fat: butter, bacon grease, or vegetable shortening

I use a 12" cast-iron skillet for this, but you can use a 9x11 baking dish instead if you don't have one. 

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit

Melt the fat in the microwave, and grease the skillet or baking dish well

Combine all the ingredients and pour into the skillet or baking dish; let it rest for at least 10 minutes, or as long as the oven takes to pre-heat (resting makes it fluff up and soaks the cornmeal)

Bake 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, and the edges brown and pull away from the pan a bit

Let cool until it is warm to the touch before serving, with lots of butter and honey, or crumble and let it stale to make cornbread dressing.

If you are really acclimated to the sweet corn bread you get in restaurants, you can add 1/4 cup of honey to the mix with an extra tablespoon of corn meal to balance liquids and solids.  

*Corn products are often a cross-contamination risk for gluten because of how it is stored and processed.  Make sure you use a gluten-free labeled brand.  In the Southeast U.S., we use the Publix store brand yellow cornmeal without a problem. 

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