I grew up on Jiffy cornbread, which is really just corn-flavored bread. When a lot of folks list cornbread recipes, they go for this classic flavor by adding a mix of gluten-free flours, gums, and sugar. Turns out, you don’t need any of that. Classic southern cornbread is simple, slightly crumbly, and naturally gluten-free.
2 Cups cornmeal*
2 Cups sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup fat: butter, bacon grease, or vegetable shortening
1/4 cup honey plus 2 tablespoons additional cornmeal to balance liquid
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and up to 1 cup vegetables (sweet corn, chopped onions, diced pepper, etc.)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and 3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (or 1.5 tablespoons dried)
I use a 12″ cast-iron skillet for this, but you can use a 9×11 baking dish instead if you don’t have one.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit
Melt the fat in the microwave, and grease the skillet or baking dish well
Combine all the ingredients and pour into the skillet or baking dish; let it rest for at least 10 minutes, or as long as the oven takes to pre-heat (resting makes it fluff up and soaks the cornmeal)
Bake 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, and the edges brown and pull away from the pan a bit. Over-baking will make it dry and increase the crumbliness.
Let cool until it is warm to the touch before serving, with lots of butter and honey, or crumble and let it stale to make cornbread dressing.
*Corn products are often a cross-contamination risk for gluten because of how it is stored and processed. Make sure you use a gluten-free labeled brand. In the Southeast U.S., we use the Publix store brand yellow cornmeal without a problem.