Thanksgiving is one hard holiday for those of us, who are gluten free, to navigate. Everything seems to have wheat flour in it, starting with the dressing, which even if it’s cornbread dressing usually starts with a cornbread made with wheat flour.
I made cornbread today that I will use to make a gluten free dressing for Thanksgiving. So, right away I can hear questions about how does one make gluten free cornbread when all of the recipes usually call for flour. Well, I started a few years ago experimenting with using just cornmeal. I’ve also experimented with using a mixture of cornmeal and bean flour that seemed to result in a rather heavy bread. I have found that we prefer all cornmeal in our bread.
I start by greasing a heavy iron skillet with clarified butter. At the same time, I start preheating the oven to 425 degrees.
Next I assemble all of the ingredients.
I have found that using extra eggs and whole cream help to make a very nicely textured corn bread.
Measure out 2 cups of cornmeal.
1 tsp. salt
5 tsp. gluten free baking powder
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Break the four eggs into a 2 cup measuring cup. Whisk them gently, then add enough cream to make two cups of liquid.
A note about using cream: Since many gluten intolerant folks are also lactose intolerant, I recommend using a pure heavy cream or a brand of pure sour cream such as “Daisy” that only uses cream to make the sour cream, because most of the milk solids have been left behind when the cream was skimmed.
Place the buttered skillet into the oven to heat up while mixing the ingredients together.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients. Since I am mixing this bread up to be used as a base for dressing, I am making it a little drier than usual. Normally, I would add enough liquid to make a rather fluid batter. This is a pretty stiff batter. Scrape the batter into the hot skillet.
Bake the bread for 15 minutes and check to see if it is firm yet. If not, bake for another 5 minutes. The bread should be firm to the touch and golden brown on top. Cut into squares. Remove one, small hot square, load it with clarified butter and enjoy!
Set the rest of the bread aside to cool. Then break it all into pieces into a large bowl. Cover and let age overnight or longer.
Thanksgiving Day add:
HERBS TO TASTE
I like a mixture of:
Sage, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, black pepper.
You can use poultry seasoning ( check the label to make sure it only contains herbs and spices, and that no Msg, hydrolized protein or modified starch has been added added.)
Chop and brown, in clarified butter, about 1 cup of onions. You can also add celery, apples, browned sausage, or cooked giblets.
My favorite thing to add is fresh chestnuts. I prepare them a few nights before.
Whisk together 2 large eggs
After mixing all of the above ingredients together ( there should be a fabulous aroma now starting to tickle the nose) slowly add enough turkey broth, commercial chicken broth or water ( at least a cup) to make a a moist but not real wet dressing.
Place into a buttered pan and cook at 350 degrees until set.
Serve hot, with delight and enjoy!