If you are gluten sensitive, you may have thought there were no gluten-free cornbread recipes available. However, as more people follow the gluten-free diet, more creative cooks offer up surprisingly delicious cornbread that can be enjoyed by everybody.
A Basic Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe
A good, solid recipe for a basic gluten-free cornbread will stand up to a variety of additional ingredients, be moist as opposed to dry and crumbly, and of course, be mouth-watering. Basic cornbread can be used for stuffing as well. Remember to make the cornbread the day before and cut it into cubes so it has time to dry out. Always be sure to use a cornmeal specifically labeled "gluten-free" to ensure there is no cross-contamination during the packaging process.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 cup yellow or white cornmeal, coarse grind is best
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup soy flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup 2% milk
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Coat the sides of an 8-inch baking pan or cast iron skillet with the melted butter. Cast iron skillets should be pre-heated in the oven for a few minutes.
- Combine the cornmeal, brown rice flour, soy flour, salt, sugar and baking soda. Stir with a whisk to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the egg and milk until well mixed.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix only until well combined. Do not over mix. Let the batter sit five minutes. This resting period allows the liquid to saturate the flours and cornmeal.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan or cast iron skillet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm in the center and an inserted toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it. (Caution: Overbaking your cornbread will make it dry and crumbly.)
Variations on Traditional Cornbread
Cornbread is wonderfully versatile. You can add many additional ingredients to subtly change the flavor and texture. Whether you're in the mood for Tex-Mex or something on the sweet side, cornbread can be the perfect complement to your meal.
If your palette is taking you south-of-the-border, try adding in some chopped vegetables for some authenticity and an extra nutritional punch. Chop, drain and pat dry vegetables before adding them to your combined mixture. If your vegetables have extra liquid, add them to the wet ingredients before you mix them together with the dry ingredients. Any of these vegetables will give your cornbread a distinct Tex-Mex feel:
- Cilantro and diced tomato
- Green onion
- Sautéed onions and green peppers (dice fine)
- Jalapeños or chipotle peppers
- Diced green chilies
- Corn nibblets
Savory cornbread goes well with meals like hearty beef stew or baked chicken. You can even use gluten-free cornbread as a topping for a shepherd's pie. Dry spices should go with dry ingredients before you mix them together with the wet ones. Cheese should be added to wet ingredients before mixing with the dry ingredients. Adding any of these will give your cornbread a more savory feel:
- Cheedar or Monterray Jack cheese
- Crumbled bacon
- Buttermilk in lieu of regular milk
- Diced sausage and onions
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked peppercorns and crumbled bleu cheese
Corn bread can also go perfectly with coffee or be a perfect after-dinner treat. Stir in gently any of these chunky fruits after the whole batter has been mixed together. Wet ingredients like honey or extract should get mixed in with the other wet ingredients before they are added to the dry ingredients. Add spices to the dry ingredients before they are mixed with the rest of the batter.
- Honey or agave nectar
- Blueberries and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
- Finely diced strawberries and 1 tablespoon of orange zest
- Vanilla Butter & Nut flavoring plus 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
- Chopped apples plus 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Crushed pineapple, drained; plus one can of cream cheese frosting (mix together with wet ingredients)
Gluten-Free Cornbread Mixes
If you're not up for making your own gluten-free cornbread, there are a few mixes on the market for you to try. You can find them at a local grocery store such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe's:
If you are using a mix and want to add something extra, add your special ingredient in after the mix is combined. Regardless of whether or not you choose to try your own gluten-free cornbread recipe or make it conveniently from a mix, you no longer have to deny yourself a favorite comfort food.