Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan and SOS (soy-free, oil free, refined-sugar free). I’ve played around with a number of different recipes to create this vegan version and found that it works with or without the addition of the flax-egg and with all types of cornmeal (fine, medium or coarse grain). However, adding the flax-egg helps to hold everything together a bit better and a finer grain cornmeal produces a less gritty cornbread.
There is very spirited and long-standing debate on the addition of sugar in cornbread. Traditional southerners cringe at the thought of sweetening their beloved cornbread recipes and you can certainly make this recipe without adding any type of sweetener. I happen to prefer it with the addition of a little maple syrup. The amount of sweetener called for in this recipe produces a cornbread with just a hint of sweetness. If you’re looking for the sweetness found in package mixes, you’ll want to increase the amount called for here.
This cornbread is like an old fashioned farmhouse bread. It’s a little more rustic and filling than some of the modern cornbread recipes containing oil, wheat and dairy but the texture is delicate, light and has a nice crumb. It is an ideal bread for sopping up the juices from a stew or as an accompaniment to a hearty soup! I found that it is best eaten on the day that it is made.
This recipe is easy to cut in half.
- 2 cups fine or medium grind gluten-free cornmeal
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
- 2 cups water
- 1/8 cup maple syrup (2 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp flax or chia seeds, combined with 3 tbs water, (flax-egg, optional)
Combine the flax seeds and water in a small dish and set aside while you combine the other ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium large bowl. Blend the water and syrup in a separate bowl and then pour into the dry. Add in the flax seed mixture. Whisk everything by hand until the mixture is well blended.
Using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, pour the entire mixture into an unbuttered, unheated oven proof dish. I use an 8-inch shallow, round ceramic coated cast iron pan (Le Creuset) for this recipe. Because of the cast iron lining, it holds heat really well and allows the cornbread to brown nicely on the sides and base. The mixture will almost fill an 8-inch round baking dish to the top, but that’s ok because it doesn’t rise much.
Bake at 400 F for 35-45 minutes or until slightly brown around edges of pan. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around the sides of the pan just to loosen the bread from the sides and then allow the cornbread to cool completely in the pan.
The cornbread is very easy to remove from the dish once it is chilled sufficiently. It doesn’t stick to the bottom the pan and if you have a utensil that it flexible enough to slide under the cornbread without disturbing it too much, you could probably even remove it in one piece. Otherwise, you can slice it right in the pan. Either way, it is easier to work with once it has reached room temperature or it is chilled.
Cut the cornbread into wedges or squares and serve!