Nothing tastes better with a hot, steaming bowl of spicy chili than a nice piece of old-fashioned cornbread topped with butter and honey. Luckily, gluten-free cornbread is one of the easiest gluten-free breads to make. Its texture is easy to replicate from just about any gluten-free flour mix. However, most cornbread recipes are dry and a bit heavy due to the amount of cornmeal used in the recipe, as well as a lack of moisture-retaining ingredients.
If looking for an extra-light gluten-free bread recipe, choose a flour mix that’s a little heavier on starches, and a recipe that uses more gluten-free flour than cornmeal. Sour cream, yogurt, or applesauce, extra eggs, and lots of fat also help to keep gluten-free cornbread moist as well as tasty.
A Safe Gluten-Free Bread Recipe Requires Gluten-Free Corn Meal
Making a safe gluten-free bread recipe can be a challenge. Check the fine print on the labels of corn meal found on supermarket shelves and you’ll find that it’s often manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat. While that doesn’t necessarily mean the corn meal is contaminated with gluten, it very well might be.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association earlier this year, “Gluten Contamination of Grains, Seeds, and Flours in the United States: A Pilot Study,” Tricia Thompson and colleagues discovered that many inherently gluten-free grains were contaminated with wheat. While the samples of corn meal chosen for this particular test were below the level of detection for gluten, the results of the study overall raise concern.
These results showed that products without an allergy advisory disclosing that the product was manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat were more likely to be contaminated with gluten than those that did. Thompson’s conclusion warns that “Results also suggest that consumers can not rely on voluntary allergen advisory statements for wheat to make decisions about which products are more or less likely to be contaminated.”
Gluten-Free Corn Meal Listing for Safe Gluten-Free Cornbread
While reading labels is essential for those with celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, an absence of an advisory allergy statement doesn’t guarantee that the corn meal is safe. Many brands are processed on the very same lines and equipment as wheat products, making a company’s allergen policy, and lengths to which they go to clean the machines between each run, of uppermost concern.
Baking gluten free can be tedious. It requires the gluten-free baker to verify with the product’s manufacturer each and every ingredient used in a recipe. However, the following gluten-free corn meal listing can help. These particular brands have either gluten free declared on the label, or have stated in phone conversations that their cornmeal is gluten free. However, it is still imperative that the gluten-free baker check with the manufacturer themselves, as suppliers might have changed:
- Albers Yellow Corn Meal
- Arrowhead Mills Blue Corn Meal Organic
- Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Corn Meal
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Stone Ground Corn Meal
- Hodgson Mill Organic Yellow Corn Meal
- Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Wheat Free Corn Meal
- Shurfine Yellow Corn Meal
- 1-1/2 cups Jen’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix
- 1/2 cup gluten-free cornmeal
- 2/3 cup cane sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 slightly beaten eggs
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease a square bake dish.
- Combine gluten-free flour mix, gluten-free cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum; set aside.
- In another bowl combine milk, sour cream, vanilla, eggs, oil, and melted butter.
- Gradually add dry ingredients and stir just until ingredients are moistened.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to over bake or the cornbread will be dry.
Kept tightly covered with foil, this gluten-free cornbread will last sitting on the counter for 3 days without drying out. In the case of leftover cornbread, it can be used to make cornbread stuffing for a Thanksgiving turkey or whole chicken later on in the week.
For gluten-free muffins: spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with cupcake papers. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full of corn batter, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.