DIY Gluten-Free Mix™ — Cornbread Mix
Cornbread is what is called a quick bread. It doesn’t require any special skills or any special pans. Cornbread is a wonderful place to begin to learn how to bake gluten-free for so many reasons. As its name implies, there is no yeast in a quick bread recipe and so no time for rising. Temperature of the ingredients is more forgiving. Milk or eggs can be cold, just do remember to melt the butter and let it cool a bit (you don’t want to scramble the egg!) Some meals just cry out for some kind of bread, and cornbread fills this need admirably. For me, these are winter meals, like soups or chili. The warm, just-out-of-the-oven cornbread adds so much to making these meals satisfying.
Making your own gluten-free cornbread mix and having it on the shelf for cold, wintry nights can be very rewarding. It can be tricky also, so let me tell you about one of the pitfalls. It can be difficult to find a truly gluten-free cornmeal to use in the recipe. I tried three brands, and was satisfied with only one. Why? Because manufacturers are leery of getting their product certified gluten-free. Many of the manufacturers state that their product may have cross-contamination. Sometimes the cross-contamination is not enough to take away the gluten-free certification, but it might be too much for you or the gluten-free person in your family. Just be aware of this problem and find one that works for you. Then you will be all set to have DIY cornbread mix in your pantry for easy gluten-free baking and eating.
The cost savings in DIY mixes is amazing! I calculate that the cost of making this whole container of DIY cornbread mix is $8.16. This is for about 6 recipes (either one 8-inch pan or 6 muffins). You can even lower this if you can shop for sale items. I just took the price of these items on the day I was assembling the mix. It breaks down as follows: Flour $4.28, Cornmeal $2.74, Baking Powder $1.08 and Salt $0.06. Additional ingredients you need to use to make one recipe is $0.61 for butter $0.21, egg $0.19 and milk $0.21. I don’t usually add the honey. For years, Freedom Delivered offered a cornbread mix at the cost of $9.95, and I agree that it made a gread cornbread. However, if you give this DIY mix a try, you will find it is very similar and costs about 1/3 of the purchased mix. Who knew we could save on our food budget and still serve tasty gluten-free meals to our families? DIY mixes put you in control.
Finally, for me knowing just what is in the foods I serve is very, very important. I like that I have the ability to change ingredients according to the needs of each person I am cooking or baking for. If I have a friend who cannot have dairy coming to lunch, I just make sure to change our ingredients so my guest can relax and enjoy the visit. This also means that when I have to eliminate a certain food for a family member, I can and still provide healthy, nutritious meals for everyone. Whether you are new to being gluten-free or have followed this lifestyle for years, we all still have to remain vigilant to be sure we aren’t eating (or serving) something that will set of health issues. I find having the DIY mixes in my home offers me a safe plan for meals that I have thought through and can serve with confidence.
- 4 cups Freedom Delivered gluten-free All Purpose Flour (496 g) (flour should always be weighted for accuracy)
- 3 cups yellow cornmeal (be sure to check that your brand is gluten-free)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (or dry sweetener of your choice)
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1⅓ cup DIY cornbread mix
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (dairy or non-dairy or oil of choice)
- 1 egg (or favorite substitution)
- ⅓ cup milk, dairy or non-dairy
- 3 tablespoons honey, if a sweeter cornbread is desired
- Gather the ingredients and carefully weigh the flour. Place all the weighted or measured dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- With a whisk gently mix the dry ingredients. Place the final mix into an airtight container or large sealable plastic bag, and store at room temperature for up to 8 months.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a 9-inch baking pan or line 6 muffin cups and spray with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1⅓ cups cornbread mix, melted butter, egg and milk. Stir until all is incorporated into batter. Fill the pan with all the batter or fill the muffin cups half way.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Serve while warm.