Thursday, July 18, 2013

Best Gluten-Free Cornbread Ever!

It's been a while since I've done any posting.  The past 12 months have been very tragic and traumatic for my family and I, but I wanted to get some recipes on here that people continually ask for.  One of those is my cornbread recipe.  This was a gluten recipe that I found somewhere years back and have modified so much that it does not resemble the original recipe at all!  I ALWAYS get compliments on it, the kids love it and many have asked for the recipe.  One friend even said it tasted just like his Grandma's!  Talk about the ultimate compliment.  The key to making this the BEST is using a cast iron skillet.  Preheating the skillet and oil make the edges crispy and delicious.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!  I'll try to post a picture next time I make it!


2 cup gf flour*
1 cup organic yellow cornmeal
½ cup organic sugar
½ t salt
½ t xanthan gum
1 T baking powder
2 (farm fresh or cage-free) eggs
1 ½ cup organic milk**
½ cup vegetable oil + 2 T for pan


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Place cast iron skillet*** in oven to heat as oven preheats.  About 5 minutes before the oven reaches 400 degrees, add a couple tablespoons of oil to the skillet and return to oven until desired temperature is reached. 
2.  In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, mix milk, egg and oil.  Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.  Remove skillet from oven, twirling around to make sure oil has coated entire bottom, and pour batter into skillet. 
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.


*I make my own GF all purpose flour by combining 48oz of brown rice flour, 24oz potato starch and 24oz tapioca starch.  Mix well and store in an air tight container.
**I prefer to use sour milk.  You can make sour milk by simply mixing in a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to whatever milk you are using or use that milk that has started to go bad!  I have used cow, goat and almond milk, all with great success.  We prefer goat. 
***If you do not have a cast iron skillet, spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan and do not preheat the pan.
Click here for printable version: Printable Best GF Cornbread Ever!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Brioche

I know most people are over their pumpkin pie cravings by now but for me, if it's cool outside, then it's still pumpkin baking time inside.  This is another recipe inspired by Healthy Bread in 5.  I made their Pumpkin Pie Brioche for the veggie co-op to rave reviews.  However, I had already gone gluten-free by that time and never got to taste it.  I determined that I would come up with a gluten-free version so I could see what all the hype was about.  I ended up making it 2 ways...a regular gf pumpkin pie brioche and a gf pumpkin pie brioche with candied pecans.  Yes...yes, I did say candied pecans and they are even better than you are imagining!  The regular makes great toast and even better french toast.  I also imagine it would make a really good bread pudding (I'm thinking with eggnog and rum).  The one with the candied pecans is great just by itself with a nice hot cup of tea, with cream and sugar, of course.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Brioche (adapted from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day)

820 g or 6 1/2 Cups all purpose gf blend (or equal parts sorghum, tapioca*, potato)
2 T or 1/2 t yeast**
1 T kosher salt
2 T xanthan gum
3 t pumpkin pie spice (or 2 t cinnamon, 1 t ground ginger, 1 t nutmeg)
1 1/4 cup milk (I use almond) or water
3 T dry milk powder (if using water)
4 large eggs
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, honey, agave (depending on how sweet you want this)
3/4 cup neutral flavored oil or melted unsalted butter
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top

*If you use or have Expandex on hand, substitute 1/2 the tapioca for Expandex
**If you want this now, use 2T yeast and you'll have bread in a few hours.  If you prefer to do a slow rise, use 1/2 t yeast and let sit out overnight, then refrigerate for up to 5 days or bake immediately.

Whisk together your dry ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer (flour, yeast, salt, xanthan gum, spices, sugar, if using, dry milk powder, if using). 

Combine liquid ingredients (eggs, honey, if using, oil) with the pumpkin puree and slowly pour into the dry ingredients.  Mix with stand mixer with paddle attachment until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Cover (not air tight) and allow dough to rest for 2 hours if using 2T yeast or for 8-12 hours if using 1/2 t yeast.

When you are ready to bake, grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch nonstick loaf pan (or how ever many loaves you are making.  I usually do all my baking at once to save on electricity as the baked loaves freeze well, just pre-slice.)  Measure out 1.5lbs of dough into each pan.  Smooth out the top of each loaf and cover and allow to rest for 90 minutes, if using refrigerated dough, or 40 minutes if using fresh dough.  (I put mine in the microwave with a steaming cup of water.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Just before baking, sprinkle the top of each loaf with the raw sugar.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  The loaf is done when caramel brown and firm.  Remove from oven and allow to sit in pan for 10 minutes (really...don't try to take it out earlier.  Set your timer for 10 minutes and then when it goes off, remove your bread, right then, don't get distracted and forget.  Too soon or too late and you will have a hard time getting that bread out!) then remove to a rack.  Allow to cool before slicing and eating.

**Variation**  Pumpkin Pie Brioche with Candied Pecans

To make the candied pecans, in a nonstick saucepan heat 3 T butter, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/2 C sugar and 1 C of chopped pecans over medium heat for about 8 min until thick and bubbly. Spread out on a silicone mat or piece of parchment and cool in the fridge. Once cool, separate into little pieces and divide into 3 equal batches (I usually weigh out the whole batch and then divide equally).  If you don't use this all at once, store in the fridge or freezer (just don't eat it all before you bake the rest of your dough!)

When your dough is ready, measure out .75lbs of dough into the pan.  Take 1/2 of one of the batches and sprinkle on dough.  Gently press down then put in the other .75lbs of dough.  Sprinkle the other 1/2 of the batch on top, then press and cover with dough.  Most of the candy should be under the dough.  I usually do not add additional sugar to the top of the loaf when I bake it.