cornbread

April 3, 2010

My dear friend Pamela gave me a gift the other day wrapped in a beautiful pink ribbon. And for no other reason than because it was Friday and we were having lunch. How wonderful is that! The present? A cookbook to add to my growing collection. But not just any cookbook – vegan, (mostly) gluten-free, and (mostly) sugar-free recipes from New York’s BabyCakes Bakery! I’m not gluten or sugar adverse but who cares? The recipes look awesome!! And one thing I particularly appreciate is that they don’t just use substitutions like fake eggs and vegan margarine. They approach baking in a whole new way.

I haven’t yet experimented with vegan baking, being so into discovering all the savory dishes for lunches and dinners and snacks. But now armed with some new inspiration I’m on it. My first project? Corn bread to accompany Easter dinner tonight. I tried it out this afternoon just to be sure and it’s fantastic! Moist, flavourful, and nice to look at. Thanks Pamela!!!

2/3 cup rice milk

1 tbsps apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup corn flour

2 tsps baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut oil, plus more for the pan (remember to melt the oil before measuring and for ease of mixing)

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup homemade applesauce or store-bought unsweetened applesauce

2 tsps pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325. Lightly grease a 7 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan with oil.

Pour the rice milk and apple cider vinegar into a small bowl, but do not stir; set aside to develop into “buttermilk.” In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the oil, agave nectar, applesauce, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir the batter until well combined. Pour in the “buttermilk.” Mix gently until the ingredients are fully incorporated and a slightly grainy batter is formed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the corn bread on the centre rack for 32 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 20 minutes. The finished corn bread will bounce back slightly when pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the centre will come out clean.

Let the corn bread stand in the pan for 20 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge of the bread. Cover the top of the pan with a cutting board, and invert the loaf onto the board. Carefully lift the pan away and re-invert the corn bread onto another cutting board. Either cut and serve warm, or wait until completely cool before storing. Cover the uncut corn bread with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.