Thursday, May 26, 2016

Another Use for that Cast Iron Skillet

I always shake my head when I see all the boxes and brands of cornbread mix in the store, most of the ingredient lists which read like a chemical experiment.  Cornbread is about the easiest bread in the world to make and I've yet to meet someone that didn't like it.

I made some cornbread with my low gluten wild yeast whole wheat sourdough  with no extra flour added to the batter and it turned out awesome so I then wanted to try and make some that was gluten free, without using a bunch of almond and coconut flours.  How about gluten free sourdough? Use rice flour - it ferments easily, making a great base for delicious bread with that nice tang you associate with sourdough. 

I LOVE sourdough bread for the taste AND the health benefits:

Sourdough is:
– easy to digest
– contains the healthy gut bacteria lactobacillus (the same major player in yogurt and kefir)
– has most of the phytic acid  broken down and
– doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar like traditional bread often does (I'm hypoglycemic so this is always a concern)
Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
You will need:

  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 cup White Rice Flour (I'm pretty sure brown rice flour would also work, this is just what I had on hand)

To make starter in a 1 quarter glass container (yes, you can use plastic, but I prefer glass), combine 1 cup of 110  - 115 F non chlorinated water and  2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast and 1 and 1/2 cups white rice flour. Let sit loosely covered in a warm place for 12 hours, stirring with a wooden spoon every 3-4 hours, before using for the first time.  It's thick to start out, then thins, with often a layer of liquid on the top, this is normal and you simply stir before using.

Each time  you use a cup simply replace what is used with a cup of warm water (preferably non chlorinated) about 110 degrees F.  and 1 and 1/2 cups white rice flour.  Let it sit loosely covered for 12 hours before using again or store in refrigerator for later use.  In a few days add a cup of the water and a cup and a half of the flour and stir, letting it sit 12 hours at room temperature.  This should give you enough to make your first bread, but always make sure you leave at least one cup of starter left.

Try and use it weekly as regular feeding will make for a more robust starter and over time it will get more "sour" for that flavor.  But if it sits for more than two weeks reactivate it by removing a cup of starter, then feed it by replacing that with 1 cup four, 2/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup water and a teaspoon of sugar.  Let sit at room temperature for 12 hours, then put back in fridge.  

And if you want to throw in a handful of fresh blueberries and cooked bacon no one is going to stop you.

For the gluten free cornbread.

1 cup GF Sourdough Starter
2 cups cornmeal

1 1/2 cups milk 
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup lard, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix milk and lemon juice together and let sit a few minutes.  Preheat oven to 425 F. and grease a 10 inch ovenproof skillet or baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine the starter, cornmeal, milk mixture, sugar and eggs (beaten first).  Stir in the melted lard, salt and baking soda.  Bake 25-30 minutes.

Serve with butter and honey 


  1. 1/4 lard ????
    1/4 what of lard? Cup, tbsp, pound, ????

    Typos are evil!

  2. Drooling over here... Passing this to my daughter!

  3. Corn flour has does rice flour.

    Just not WHEAT gluten.....

  4. Not sure but I don't think we had gluten back when I was a kid. But, corn bread in cast iron was/is the only may my Mother made corn bread. Never made a pot of pintos without corn bread.

  5. I'm gone couple of months and first post I read of yours is corn bread a favorite of mine. So much for weight loss.

  6. A mountain lady in E. Kentucky told us why her cornbread was SO GOOD. "Ya got-ta lay the flour to it honey!" And that does make it less crumbly. My touch was always to add a little sorghum molasses to the mix. I would preheat the skillet to melt a good chunk of lard, and then pour in the batter.


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