Not growing up in a traditional Southern home, I did not taste real Southern cornbread until I made it myself. I started simple – using a mix and just adding eggs and milk – it was good, but, in all honesty, it was a mix, so it was pretty much a given that it would taste good. Fast forward to today and mixes are a thing of the past. Being able to tailor my recipes as I see fit is more important than speed. Needless to say, moist, delicious and with just the right amount of crumbliness, cornbread has since become one of my favorite quick breads.
But interestingly enough, not all recipes are created equal. Although all the ingredients may seem like they would make a great cornbread, and many of them are very similar, sometimes the smallest thing can make a big impact. For instance, did you know if you put your baking pan in the preheating oven for a few minutes it gives your cornbread a nice crusty bottom and sides? And if you let your batter rest for a minute, it makes the top rise nicely? It’s things like that that can take your cornbread from ho-hum to Wow!
Gluten free cornbread is another story though. If you’ve made it unsuccessfully before, then these terms should be familiar – dryness, grittiness, general lack of taste. Sometimes even adding more butter doesn’t help. Fortunately, there is hope. There are some things you can do to create the best, most springy gluten free cornbread in the world – and no one will even know its gluten free!
Remember to preheat your oven.
Preheating is important as it ensures your oven is at just the right temperature before you put your labor of love in there to bake. And, going a step further, if you want a nice crisp to your gluten free cornbread, then preheat your pan as well.
Fat is a good thing.
Fat and cornbread go together like cinnamon and cinnamon rolls – you can’t have one without the other. Some form of fat is essential for a nice, moist cornbread. Now, there are some exceptions to this rule – there are recipes that are low-fat by design. In this case, the fat has been replaced by something else. I may be premature here, but I’ve never found a low-fat gluten free cornbread recipe that tastes like this one.
Don’t get overzealous with the mixing.
Even though your gluten free recipes can’t get tough due to overworking the gluten, they just don’t need that much mixing. Mix the ingredients just until they are combined and then scrape it into the pan.
Different gluten free cornmeal will produce different results.
A finer ground of cornmeal will produce a cornbread with less grit to it. A coarser cornmeal will be a bit more substantial. Experimenting with the different types might be the best thing when it comes to creating the perfect gluten free cornbread for your tastes. The following recipe uses regular, yellow cornmeal – not fine, not coarse.
Now for the actual recipe…
Gluten Free Cornbread
1 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 tsp. Vinegar
1/3 Cup Potato Starch
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Cornmeal
¼ – ½ Cup White Sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan and set it in the oven to warm for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, oil, and vinegar. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to this mixture and mix well. Make sure the batter is smooth and lump free. The batter will be thin.
Very carefully, remove the pan from the oven.
Pour the batter into the pan. Bake it at 26 – 32 minutes, until the cornbread tests done with a toothpick and the top is lightly browned. Start checking it at 26 minutes.
Note: If you like a sweeter cornbread, use the higher amount of sugar. Also, feel free to toss in some shredded cheese or even chopped jalapenos if you want to add a little kick to your gluten free cornbread.