I’ve never done this before, but I’m going to try it this year—cornbread dressing. But first I’ll need to bake a grain-free, gluten-free cornbread.
I thought a little longer than usual about how to title this post. Like the mashed potato posts, the title “Cornbread” is somewhat misleading. I’m not trying to fool myself or anyone else, but it does taste like cornbread. Before I began baking gluten and grain-free, I had tried a number of cornbread recipes, and I even resorted to using the Jiffy mix on occasion.
This recipe is for cornbread, but there’s no hint of corn anywhere in it. I think that’s part of the irony of how we eat, that is based on memories of foods we expect to have or have had in the past. Or foods we want to have but avoid for health reasons, or because we’re selective in what we eat. I’d like to change that a bit, at least in my mind. It’s much easier to appreciate what a food offers rather than what it tastes like, or imitates.
So I’ve tried to change my expectations. Instead of hoping a cake will taste like the cakes I’ve had in the past using all purpose flour, I experiment to see if I can create a recipe that I like and that is appealing in it’s texture, flavor, taste, and in some cases, the cost of the ingredients.
Almond flour happens to make a great base for cornbread, even when it doesn’t contain a single grain of cornmeal. Adding coconut flour lightens up the texture, reduces the amount of nut flour in the recipe, and adds a boost of good fiber. I should mention that I do have a recipe for blueberry corn muffins that combines both almond and corn meal, but it’s not grain-free. So here’s a gluten-free and grain-free cornbread.
It’s a slightly sweet, slightly salty, slightly buttery version of cornbread. The basic kind. The softer cake-like kind, not grainy. But don’t let me stop you from adding to the fun, or changing things up. I can see adding some minced jalapeno, chili powder, chives, or some grated cheddar to make it savory. Or if you like it sweeter, add a bit more honey (about 1 tablespoon). You can also use the batter to make corn muffins. Or just bake it as a basic cornbread, as is this recipe’s intent. Cool for a minute, slice into squares and serve with a hot bowl of your favorite chili or soup.
You can also turn this into brown butter cornbread by browning the butter in a pan before adding it to the batter. I don’t always have the patience for this, but the nutty flavor of browned butter is something to consider. And the smell. Just that much better.
And if you like your cornbread to have a slightly grainy taste, as if you were using a medium grind cornmeal instead of a fine grind, cut the milk in the recipe by about half (reduce to a 1/4 cup). Another option is to use Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour because it has a slightly larger grind, so the flour grains are not as fine as some others.
Cornbread (using almond & coconut flour)I used an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and the bread was about an inch in thickness. To get thicker bread, use a smaller baking pan or double the recipe and use a larger pan (about 9-inch by 12-inch).
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (or ghee, vegetable shortening, or coconut oil)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk (or other milk; yogurt will work too)
- Preheat your oven to 325° F/165° C.
- Line a baking dish (8-inche by 8-inch) with parchment paper or other non-stick covering, or grease well.
- Blend all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend well. I use a mixer.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
- Cool and slice.
- Store in the refrigerator for a week or so, or seal and freeze for a few months.
Makes 9 or 16 servings when baked in an 8-inch by 8-inch pan.