Yeasted Cornbread

The pairing of a tender, grainy bread (freshly baked, still warm) with a bowl of soul-fortifying soup or stew is a favorite combo for winter comfort around here. Steve and I are big fans. We slow-cook a lot of soup. And we bake a different cornbread every week. So today I'm posting such a pairing. Two recipes- a new yeasted cornbread I am crazy about, and a New Mexican Stew that will chase away the January back-to-reality blues and blahs and whatever else may ail you, Dear Reader.

When all else fails, a simple earthy meal of hot soup and rustic bread can soothe the crankiest of beasts. Especially when that beast happens to be my mood, infused with cabin fever.

Yeasted Cornbread Recipe

I'm experimenting with quinoa flour of late, and thought its hearty flavor might complement cornmeal. So I added a half a cup to my gluten-free flour mix- just to see what would happen. I loved the grainy flavor. If you don't have quinoa flour, try using millet or teff instead.

First, proof the yeast. You'll need:

1/2 cup plain rice milk (or water)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon honey, or raw agave nectar
1 tablespoon of fresh active yeast

Combine and heat the non-dairy milk and water to 110 degrees F. Stir in the honey and yeast. Set aside to proof (activate the yeast).

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and turn it off (warm the oven).

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk to combine:

1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornmeal
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
2 teaspoons caraway seed (crushed rosemary or dill if you prefer)
1 tablespoon organic brown sugar
Add in and stir:

1/2 cup light olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs made with warm water to equal 1/4 cup

Add in the proofed yeast (mixture should be foamy) and stir well to combine.

Spoon the batter into a 9-inch cake pan lined with parchment- or use a warm, lightly oiled iron skillet.

Set the pan or skillet into the warm oven and allow the bread to rise a bit- about 30 minutes. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees.

When the oven has come to full temperature, set the timer for 25 to 30 minutes; check for doneness with a toothpick. The bread should feel tender but firm to a light touch and a cake tester inserted into the center should emerge clean. Mine was done at 35 minutes.

Allow the bread to cool a bit before slicing and serving. Wrap leftover slices and freeze for future treats. Delicious sliced and grilled in a little olive oil.

Makes 8 servings.

Karina's Notes:

If you prefer real eggs instead of an egg replacer, use 2 large organic free-range eggs, beaten.

This was baked at high altitude, so slightly less liquid works best for me in a bread like this. If the batter is unusually thick for you, add another tablespoon or two of warm liquid.

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