Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Gluten Free Cornbread

After a long weekend of cooking, I was pleased to have leftovers for dinner on Monday but I felt an extra something was needed. But something simple.

My sister, Susie, has recently started a gluten free diet after a coeliacs disease diagnosis so I have been on the lookout for gluten free recipes. After some time browsing the stores, I have purchased a new cookbook called Great Gluten Free Baking: over 80 delicious cakes and bakes, by Louise Blair. It has some excellent recipes I am dying to try out.

One recipe seemed right for the dinner – a quick savoury cornbread. I have made cornbread before without flour but I have found that the polenta can be a bit dry without flour. This recipe uses mostly polenta but also chickpea flour. I am still investigating different gluten free flours. The commercial mixture I bought had the squeakiness of cornflour and hasn’t held together well. But I like the binding quality of chickpea flour so thought it was worth a try.

I had a similar recipe from another book which I ended up using. The main difference seemed to be that the one I used made a loaf about half the size. Smaller suited me. I made a few changes – added some parsley and cheese, but mostly followed the recipe, which was pretty easy. It was a nice accompaniment to our leftover stew from the weekend (yes I added strawberries from my TGRWT challenge - and dill pickle - to the pierogi filling from last night).

Not the best cornbread ever, but pretty good. Makes me wonder if I could try other cornbread recipes and substitute chickpea flour for wheat flour. The search will continue.

Gluten Free Cornbread
(adapted from Gluten Free Food by Lyndel Costain and Joanne Farrow)

100g (scant ⅔ cup) fine cornmeal
75g chickpea flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
25 g butter melted
250ml milk or yoghurt (full fat or semi skimmed)
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Chilli flakes, to taste
⅔ cup grated cheese

Lightly oil and line a 500g loaf tin. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. The batter will be very thin. Pour into the loaf tin. Bake in oven at 200ºC for 25-35 mins til just firm (Actually I baked it at 170ºC for 15 minutes and when I checked it looked so uncooked I put the temperature up to 200 for the next 25 minutes). The recipe also recommended leaving the loaf in the tin 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack but we were ready to eat so I turned it out and cut it up straight away and it was fine – eat hot or cold

On the stereo:
Bellavista Terrace Best of the Go-Betweens – Go Betweens


  1. If a friend/family member told me they were gluten intolerant I would have to rethink my entire repertoire!
    Well done you.

  2. thanks wendy, thinking of what to cook is less hard after having to rethink my diet when I went vegetarian - it is a matter of focusing on what you can have, not what you are missing - and finding alternatives.

    more worrying is the fact that coeliacs is a genetic disease so once a family member has it, your chances of getting it yourself increases dramatically - I could do gluten free but I love bread

  3. There are the classic gluten free books by Bette Hagman and there are some less well known books. Two of my favorites are: Gluten-Free French Desserts & Baked Goods by Valerie Cupillard and Sweet Alternative: More Than 100 Recipes Without Gluten, Dairy and Soy by Ariana Bundy.

    Good places to shop are (once the Gluten Free Pantry), Bob's Red Mill, Arrowhead Mills, Gluten Free Mall, Gluten Solutions and Kinnikinnick. You can buy Montina flour from and Mesquite flour from Native Seeds/SEARCH.

    I wish your sister the best with her new gluten free life style. You are a wonderful sister to venture into the gluten free cooking zone for her.

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  4. thanks sheltie girl - my mum also enjoys baking and has made some great gluten free bread already. I will look out for the cookbooks you suggest and also check out your recipes too, which look interesting.

    thanks Lucy :-)

  5. I can't imagine the difficulty having to so dramatically rearrange one's diet. I'm slowly cutting out all my meat consumption, but flour? Ouch.
    Cornmeal and besan are excellent alternatives, but somewhat tricky for baking. Have you tried Indian dhoka, an amazing steamed besan bread?

  6. steamed bread - sounds intriguing - can't say I have ever tried it - but will be looking out for that now. I really like a lot of Indian breads so would like to try it.


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