About this recipe:This is my take on that southern American standard, but gluten free and in muffin form (although instead of 12 muffins, you could make this in a standard 9″x12″ traybake pan, too). They are unbelievably light, and not too sweet. Delicious savoury options are in the Tips.
100g sugar (soft light brown or golden caster ideally)
2 1/2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
150g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, beaten
250ml milk, at room temperature
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:20min › Ready in:35min
Preheat oven to 210 C (190 C fan-assisted). Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. (If using a standard traybake tin, lightly grease it and line the bottom and sides with baking paper.)
Rub together all of the dry ingredients with the butter in a large mixing bowl, until you have a consistency like bread crumbs.
Add the beaten egg and mix well with a fork until fully combined.
Add the milk about 1/4 at a time, mixing really well with your fork after each addition. You want a creamy batter but still quite thick – and it will look lumpy. (Remember, this is gluten-free, so you don't have to worry about over-mixing; in fact, incorporate as much air as you can.)
Spoon into muffin cases no more than 2/3 full because they will rise quite a bit. (Alternately, spread into your prepared traybake tin.)
Bake for around 20 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of a couple of buns comes out clean. Remove from the oven, remove the muffins from the tin, and cool on a cooling rack. (If making a traybake, test with the skewer in the centre of the cake; then leave the cake in the tin to cool.)
These muffins freeze extremely well; they defrost to their exact state post-baking.
You can add 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1/2 tablespoon crushed fennel seeds, or 1 teaspoon chilli flakes – or all three. If making a savoury version, reduce the sugar to 50g. Made this way, the cornbread is really enhanced by grating mature cheddar cheese over the top halfway through baking.