From a young age, I’ve had a semi-unique obsession with history; my favorite books growing up were from the Little House on the Prairie and Dear America series and I even had a pioneer barbie doll. There is something lovely and simple about the lives of the young settlers that really appealed to me and still does. I admit that I enjoy and appreciate the comfort of living in our modern world, but part of me still wants to live like Laura Ingalls, in the little log cabin where dinner is cooked over an open fire and home-made butter, jam, cream, and breads are the norm. Everyday life was more simple back then and so was cooking and the ingredients used. I credit my love for pancakes, maple syrup, and warm cornbread to my early love for those books and tv shows.
Corn bread has always been one of my favorite foods and I love how quickly and easily it comes together- the only equipment you need is a bowl and wooden spoon. My recipe is not quite as simple as Laura Ingalls’ but this go-to recipe satisfies my craving (for both the bread and the feeling of prairie life!)
I was undecided on how to sweeten this bread so I set up an official side-by-side taste test. One batch was made with honey and the other with coconut sugar, and I was surprised by how different the two breads turned out. It was close and I enjoyed both breads but my favorite was the darker one with coconut sugar (the bread on the right), and when left on the kitchen counter for everyone to enjoy, that was the one that disappeared the quickest.
The other thing you’ll notice about this recipe is that there is no xanthan gum. Most gluten free recipes and baked goods you’ll find in the store, even salad dressings, rely on xanthan as a binding and thickening agent, but I prefer to avoid using it. A product of fermentation, it has been noted that some people react to eating it. There is also some controversy over whether it is truly gluten free. A lot of gluten free flour mixes also have xanthan gum mixed in, but I found that Bob’s Red Mill doesn’t, so I just add my own binding agent, like flax seeds, chia seeds, or psyllium husks.
“Simple” Gluten-Free Cornbread
2 Flax “Eggs” (2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds, 6 tablespoons water)
1/2 cup Gluten-Free, All Purpose Flour ( I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
2 cup Finely Ground Cornmeal
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Ground Psyllium Husks
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup Honey or Coconut Sugar
1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 cup Coconut Oil, Melted
Preheat oven to 425′ and grease 8×8 baking dish.
Prepare the flax “eggs” by combining the flaxseeds and water. Stir and set aside.
Combine all-purpose flour, garbanzo bean flour, cornmeal, baking powder, ground psyllium husks, sea salt, and coconut sugar in a large bowl.
To the dry ingredients, add the “flax” eggs, honey if using, and almond milk. Stir until just combined.
Slowly mix in the melted coconut oil and stir until everything comes together, not over-mixing.
Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
I had to add that this cornbread is delicious grilled! Using my griddle, I love making cornbread “toast” and will even slather on some almond butter. The bread itself isn’t too sweet so an extra drizzle of honey can turn it into a sweet treat.