For your health – wheat-free, gluten-free cornbread
We’ve just completed a week-long visit with my niece. She comes to us from North Carolina complete with food sensitivities to wheat/gluten and dairy. Each year while she is in our residence, I spend time with her baking up some wheat-free, gluten-free foods. She will then take these recipes home and, hopefully, repeat them.
In the months leading up to this visit she had not been too faithful to her special dietary needs. The same was true last year. Fortunately for this niece, we started her right in on removing the offending foods from her schedule. As always, within three days she gladly admitted she felt much better, both physically and mentally.
Well, this 12-year-old flew home last night with new recipes in her suitcase and the experience of baking each of them imprinted in her fingers. As she grows into adulthood, I have no doubt the reinforcement we give her each year will serve her well.
Here’s one of the tasty treats we created. Take your time to gather all of these ingredients. Some of them are available locally. Make no substitutions, execute this recipe exactly as written.
Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cornbread
¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup tapioca starch, aka tapioca flour
¼ cup potato starch, not potato flour
¼ cup sweet rice flour
3 Tbl white sugar
3 Tbl brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
¼ cup buttermilk powder
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
¼ cup shortening, not butter
2 large eggs
1 cup water
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract
1 cup yellow corn meal
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using an 8-by-8-by-2 baking pan, grease sides and dust with a little of one of the flours; line bottom with cut-to-fit parchment.
Sift all the flours, sugars, salt, buttermilk powder, baking powder and xanthan gum into a large bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
Cut the shortening into the dry bowl, the way you would to make pie dough. You should end up with pea-sized pieces in a rough flour mixture.
Whisk the eggs, vanilla, maple extract and water. Pour into the dry mixture and stir to combine. Add the cornmeal and stir again, do not over work.
Pour into your prepared pan. Mixture may be rather thick, so gently smooth it out with a spatula.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the sides just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Turn it out of the baking pan and place cornbread on a wire rack.
If you don’t have maple extract feel free to leave it out, just increase the vanilla to a full 1 teaspoon.
Once you’ve made this successfully, experiment with some additions like minced jalapeno, cooked chorizo, crumbled crispy bacon, grated sharp cheddar cheese or cut off the cob sweet corn kernels. Obviously you wouldn’t want to add all of the above, just pick and choose what appeals to your family.
Look for Chef Darrel’s blog on the website of our sister paper, Daily-Chronicle.com. Anyone with questions or comments for Chef Darrel is welcome to call him at 630-235-0672.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org