Cornmeal cornbread, a loaf that tastes like polenta

Cornmeal cornbread is a fantastic complement to a hearty meal. Traditionally served for Thanksgiving, I find it incredibly suited year round. Entirely gluten free, it is an excellent option for gluten intolerant guests. I baked my first loaf last year precisely because it is gluten free! I had ran out of gluten-free flour and needed to cater to people with gluten intolerance. There was almond meal at home, but any type of nuts was banned from the workplace so that was not an option. My last card was cornmeal. So I figured that a nice loaf of cornbread was better than nothing.

Before baking my own loaf I had had a generous share of cornmeal at the Thanksgiving party at the workplace. As a person born and raised in northern Italy, to me corn has only one form: polenta. I love polenta. So when I tasted cornbread I was pleasantly surprised to find the taste of polenta combined with the texture of a cake. A baked good that tasted like polenta.

I didn’t think I’d have the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, since I don’t have a bunch of American and Canadian colleagues anymore. But my boyfriend does. We got invited to a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner at one of his colleagues’ place. So I had my share of delicious turkey once again! I was not asked to bring anything, so I didn’t bake a new loaf of cornmeal cornbread for that occasion. I made it for another time.

Cornmeal cornbread recipe. A loaf that tastes like polenta. Gluten free!

Cornmeal cornbread recipe

  • 250 g cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 400 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 40 g butter

Melt the butter and set aside. In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt and baking powder. In another bowl whisk the eggs, then mix in milk, honey and melted butter. Pour cornmeal mixture into the other bowl and stir to combine. Leave for a few minutes in order for it to thicken. Pour cornbread batter into a loaf pan lined with baking paper and bake in the preheated oven at 220°C for 30 minutes.

Cornmeal cornbread recipe. A loaf that tastes like polenta. Gluten free!Cornmeal cornbread recipe. A loaf that tastes like polenta. Gluten free!

This recipe is a slight adaptation (suited to my type of cornmeal and “translated” into the metric system) from the one found on Plan to Eat. I was a little suspicious at first, but when I took out a perfectly baked loaf I had to acknowledge that it actually worked out fine.

The best feature about this cornmeal is its full taste. The perfect balance of salt and honey keep it very neutral, so it’s a perfect accompaniment to all kinds of dishes. I remember having it at the Thanksgiving dinner along with the turkey, but I ate a slice of this one with strawberry jam and it tasted just as delicious. So go ahead and bake yourself a nice loaf of polenta cornbread anytime.

Cornmeal cornbread recipe. A loaf that tastes like polenta. Gluten free!Cornmeal cornbread recipe. A loaf that tastes like polenta. Gluten free!

Just one side note. This bread is not made with polenta per se. I used a finer cornmeal than the one I use for polenta, more like actual corn flour. Haven’t tried making it with actual polenta, but I am guessing it might not absorbe the milk equally well, potentially resulting in a gritty loaf. So the finer the cornmeal, the better, I think.

 

Cornmeal cornbread recipe. A loaf that tastes like polenta. Gluten free!

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