I have fond childhood memories of big, fluffy cornbread muffins with honey butter served as an appetizer or with hot soup. Maybe that’s why I still love it so much.
This wheat-free cornbread recipe is nearly the same as a recipe with wheat, but the slight differences are very important. The gluten in wheat acts very quickly, making batters elastic as soon as moisture is added. This allows bubbes from the leavening to form and stay trapped in the batter rather than escaping. These trapped bubbles are the reason baked goods rise. Without the gluten, flour takes a much longer time to process moisture and develop the elasticity it needs to rise properly. This means that you must let the batter rest for 8-10 minutes. Otherwise, it doesn’t have the elasticity it needs to keep the bubbles trapped and allow the bread to rise. (I tried to skip this step once and made some pretty flat cornbread.)
Also, since baking powder begins to work as soon as you add liquid, you must pour the batter immediately, and let the batter rise in the baking pan, not in the bowl. If you were to leave it in the bowl, the batter becomes too thick to pour well, and you would pop many of the carbon dioxide bubbles that form in the batter. This would also lead to flat cornbread.
That said, if you follow these steps, you should end up with fluffy, delicious cornbread to compliment your soup or just to butter and drizzle with honey. Enjoy!
- Do make sure to use pure canola oil. Many “vegetable” oils contain oils that cross-react with latex, like soy and sunflower.