A classic Thanksgiving dish is stuffing or dressing (depending on where you cook it: bird or pan), but it usually includes bread. It’s a great use for a day-old baguette from Bread and Butter, but what if you are eating gluten-free or have guests who are? Though you can use a gluten-free flour blend, you can also make a cornbread with cornmeal only. There’s local cornmeal at the market, and this year it comes in three colors!
This recipe is one we’ve been making for years and the cookbook is cracked at the page. It’s also coated in flour and cornmeal; it’s a recipe that uses half flour and half cornmeal. Once I started cooking without wheat flours I did not make cornbread for a while. A friend told me once that she always made cornbread with cornmeal only so I decided to try our usual recipe. It worked fine! The texture is a little grainier than with half white flour, but not nearly to the point I expected. I like the extra corn flavor as well.
I’ve not made or eaten much stuffing over the years so I wasn’t sure how corn-only dressing would hold up (gluten holds bread together in nice cubes or rough-torn shapes). This recipe by Nicole from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring is for a similar cornmeal-only cornbread recipe and her stuffing recipe uses that cornbread.
One thing that I noticed about Nicole’s stuffing recipe is that she uses the cornbread fresh (or frozen immediately after cooling). Usually I see stuffing recipes that use day-old or otherwise dried (such as toasted bread). However, cornbread holds together better fresh. I might not have thought of that and tried to make it with stale cornbread.
I hope to have a successful cornbread stuffing to share with you next week, and I’ll definitely have a Thanksgiving recipe round-up. Since November started on a Thursday, Thanksgiving is on the earliest end that it can come and it certainly feels soon to me! Remember, too, that market will be Tuesday next week and the newsletter and blog post Monday. Talk to your farmer this week if there’s something you especially want for your Thanksgiving meal.
Adapted from Basic Corn Bread
From The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
Butter, for the pan
2 cups cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
3 Tbsp brown sugar or honey
3 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch square pan (or a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet) with butter.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the wet ingredients (including sugar or honey) separately. Stir the wet mixture into the dry, mixing just enough to thoroughly combine. Spread into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Notes on the recipe:
This recipe originally called for 1 cup flour and 1 cup of cornmeal, and you can certainly make it that way. There’s also another, similar recipe on the blog that calls for less flour and more cornmeal.
I use regionally sourced Cruze dairy buttermilk for my cornbread. If you want to use your milk share milk add 2 tsp of vinegar to the milk. You can also use a dairy-free milk. Another dairy option is sour cream.
I’ve thought about using an extra egg to see if it’s less crumbly. If you do this I’d like to hear how it works. Update: I used an extra egg in a double recipe and I liked how it came out: fluffier and less crumbly. I also used extra sweetening and butter (see below) so that may have helped. If you want to add an extra half egg in a single recipe, try a pullet (small) egg or one extra large egg. I don’t think being exact matters too much, but if you like to weigh your ingredients shoot for 3-3.38 ounces of egg per single recipe.
In the photo above I used a little maple syrup in addition to honey. It makes the cornbread darker, but it’s yummy!
If you want to make this dairy free use your favorite butter substitute or try olive oil for a different flavor.
This recipe easily doubles, triples, or even quadruples - just use a really big bowl! Also, do yourself a favor and write the new quantities for each measurement down. Even though they are simple, even numbers I find having to multiply in my head for each measurement while actively cooking increases the odds I will make a mistake. If nothing else I might forget which quantity I am making!
I added an extra tablespoon each of sweetener and butter at Thanksgiving. This was very popular with my crowd! This will not make what some consider a sweet cornbread, but it is a little sweeter than we usually have.
Go here to print Gluten-Free on a Shoestring’s version of this recipe (the main differences are that it has more honey, butter, and buttermilk)