So, let’s talk cornbread.
And let’s talk about how my husband only likes the “plain, old-fashioned cornbread, Lorie” and not the “designer” cornbread versions I have tried over the years. (Never mind that I have competed in cornbread cook-offs and won some hefty moula with my “designer” versions–he is still a cornbread purist.)
So gluten sensitivities in my family and a desire for healthier versions (and no processed packages) of my old staples have led me to develop my own from-scratch recipe. This version meets all the criteria: gluten-free, healthier ingredients, and old-fashioned. (Read PLAIN and not fancy.)
Also: fantastic texture, crispy-crunchy bottom (you just wait!), and tender, moist inside.
This is my staple recipe. There are lots of ways to modify this recipe. I have done many tweaks myself, so read my notes–I have a lot of them.
–I totally get that avocado oil is, like, sooooo expensive. But I am honestly so impressed with how healthy it is and versatile it is, I cannot help but keep it in my pantry. I just try to ration it out. But the flavor is so neutral, it works for everything from frying to vinaigrettes, so that can be a bit of a financial problem for me. I have tried melted butter (in the batter, not for coating the skillet) and I just didn’t like the texture in this cornbread as well, but you can use it and I have, and it was still good. I just prefer avocado oil. (Nasty vegetable oil and canola oil are out of the question for me now. I. Will. Not. Even.)
–I get a super crispy bottom on this from the avocado oil. I have also used coconut oil and it did give it a slight coconut flavor (not unpleasant, though) but it worked well. And it also has a very high smoke point and is very healthy.
–I have even used extra virgin olive oil. It was decent, but my fav by far is avocado oil.
–You can also use all cornmeal in this recipe. It will work, but I have found that I really like the texture that the 1/2 cup of GF flour adds. (I use Bob’s Red Mill One to One Gluten Free Flour Blend.)
–Please slather it with butter while it’s still hot, then dunk it into a pot of beans or soup. Your welcome.
–Your skillet needs to be sizzling hot. Avocado oil has a really high smoke point, so it can take it.
–Let’s talk about kefir. Use PLAIN kefir, not sweetened or blueberry flavored or anything like that. Man, I love that stuff and it works really well in place of buttermilk. Either works well in this recipe, but I can just get organic kefir where I can’t get organic buttermilk.
–If you do not have buttermilk or kefir, you can use regular milk, but you might want to decrease the water because milk is a lot thinner than buttermilk or kefir. I have not tried almond milk in this, but that may be an option.
–I have had some issues with my cornmeal. It’s been hard for me to find both organic and gluten free cornmeal, but I finally found a brand that I love and it’s Arrowhead Mills. I order mine in bulk off of Amazon and store it in the freezer. I like it because the meal is not super coarse in texture. It’s a lot finer than other brands I have bought. It really makes a difference in the end product.
–Obviously, don’t over bake it. With any bread or cake, if you over bake it, it will be dry. Mine usually takes about 22-23 minutes, and you can put it under the broiler to get the top brown.
–When you reheat this the next day, don’t do it in the microwave. Put it in the oven or toaster oven to retain it’s crispy bottom.
–I promise that no one will know this is a gluten free and healthier version!
- 1½ cups organic gluten-free yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup gluten free all purpose flour blend (with xanthan gum) (I use Bob’s Red Mill One to One Gluten Free Flour Blend)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk or plain kefir
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil, for coating skillet
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, buttermilk or kefir, water and 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Stir until mixed.
- Heat a large (11½ inch) cast iron skillet over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons avocado oil. When the oil is very hot ( a drop of batter will sizzle when dropped in the oil), pour the batter in the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and firm in the middle. Do not over bake though. Can place under broiler to brown the last couple of minutes, if necessary.