Herbes de Provence and Cornbread. Definitely an unexpected and unlikely coupling but I assure you are the most suprisingly compatible things.
This recipe is repost worthy. I love this cornbread so much because it has style. Not that there is anything wrong with good old-fashioned cornbread. None at all. But sometimes – in the same way that you sometimes feel that compulsion to wear something a little “special” – you just want to spice it up. Or in this case herb it up.
This stylin’ cornbread recipe is an adaptation of Heidi Swanson’s Quinoa Skillet Bread. 101Cookbooks is a blog I only stalk everyday, like Heidi’s other food minion. Its been sitting in my bookmarks folder, waiting to be made gluten-free. I decided to stop dilly-dallying. That’s right, a gluten-free, vegan skillet cornbread that doesn’t compromise taste.
Now I am not a baker. I am very uncomfortable with the get-it-right-there’s-no-turning-back-once-you-put-it-in-the-oven deal. I’m a notorious recipe tweaker, that’s why I have to be extra vigilant when I’m writing down what I put in the dishes I make. But this bread recipe, with cornmeal (very forgiving for novice bakers in my experience) and the use of a stovetop skillet, puts me at ease.
This recipe takes cues from Heidi’s version — the herbs and the addition of the liquid right before you pop the pan in the oven (and her call for a little leap of faith) are absolutely brilliant. She in turn, took cues from Marion Cunningham’s Custard Filled Cornbread recipe. So you may say this is the third generation, with genes tracing back to culinary royalty.
I used a base that is gluten-free and substitute milk with my new stand-by, So Delicious Coconut Milk. The product is savory and fragrant from the bouquet of herbes de provence — which is such a great addition. It is crusty on the outside with an interesting variety of textures on the inside. Not your typical cornbread. Plus the addition of quinoa packs it with more fiber and protein – which makes it that much better. This has been, by far, the best cornbread I’ve had.
Quinoa Cornmeal Skillet Bread
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon herbes de provence plus ½ tsp for sprinkling on top
½ tsp. pepper
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
¼ cup + 1 T grapeseed oil or canola oil
1 T egg replacer in 1/4 cup hot water
1 1/2 tablespoons white or white wine vinegar
1 3/4 cups So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk plus 1/2-3/4 cup
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, except for the ½-3/4 cup of coconut milk. Pour the wet ingredients plus the quinoa into the dry ingredients. Mix until well blended. Take the pan out of the oven and pour the batter into it.
And for the next step, I quote Heidi:
“Pour the [coconut milk] into the center of the batter. Have faith, and do not stir.” I like to make a little “swirl” pattern on top and let the coconut milk flow in. Sprinkle the top with remaining herbs. Place in the oven and check after about 45-50 minutes. The bread is done when the top is golden and the center is set. If it is not set, turn on the broiler for a few minutes to finish it off. Total cooking time can take up to 60 minutes.
This is most delicious right out of the oven but is also good warm or at room temperature (keep it covered). I also must say that this is best eaten the day it is made.
PS. One of my favorite gluten-free baking books, Babycakes, also has a cornbread recipe that looks divine. If you try it let me know. I’ll take a gander at it soon.