A gal in our neighborhood used to make the most delicious cornmeal herb rolls ever when I was a kid. I know I’m not the only one who thought so either. She made a large portion of her income selling them!
I got her recipe, but since it’s not gluten-free ( I’d never even heard of gluten allergies – and I doubt she had either – back then), it wasn’t doing us a whole lot of good. Keeping wheat out of the house cuts down on the chance for cross contamination. Besides, I don’t want to go to the extra effort of making dinner rolls for me, and then making something gluten-free for Gabriel. Call me lazy.
Well, we’ve all heard about how we shouldn’t go trying to convert regular bread recipes into gluten-free, but I got to thinking that maybe – just maybe – I could do it with a recipe like this. And for those of you who are interested in doing converting recipes like this, just know that if you have a basic understanding of the science behind what makes a GF bread recipe work, you can do it. Very successfully if this recipe is any indication.
You can’t imagine how excited I was when I cut into the first roll. I felt like some mad scientist or something. It worked! It really worked! The texture was excellent, not crumbly, not dry. Even after two days sitting in the cupboard (I hid one in order to find this out) they still had good texture – I credit the cornmeal mush. My gluten-free taste testers (Gabriel and Johanna) gave them rave reviews as well.
One thing in particular that I love about these rolls, is that I was able to use rice flour mix which is cheaper than most others. Usually, when I’m making breads or things without a whole lot of flavor from other sources, I find rice flour to be a little too bland. Thanks to the cornmeal and herbs though, that’s not a problem with this recipe, making it a very economical choice. In fact, I think a strong tasting flour would have conflicted with the flavorful herbs.
Also, if you don’t already have a good source for non-GMO corn products, this is just one more reason to grind your own grain. Popcorn, which in not genetically modified grinds into a lovely cornmeal.
P.S. You could leave the herbs out to make more traditional dinner rolls, or sandwich buns, etc.
These are the perfect compliment to an italian beef dinner.
Gluten-free Cornmeal Herb Rolls
- 3T. cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
- 1c. milk
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 t. yeast
- 1/8c. (2T.) warm water
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 1/4 t. basil
- 1/2 t. parsley
- 1 scant cup GF flour mix
- 1 1/2 t. xanthan or guar gum
Combine cornmeal, sugar, oil/butter, salt, and milk in a saucpan and heat, stirring over medium heat until mixture thickens. Stir in garlic powder, basil, and parsely and let cool to lukewarm.
mix yeast with warm water.
Beat egg into cornmeal mixture, and stir in yeast/water.
Stir flour and gum together, and add to cornmeal mixture.
Beat for 2 minutes, preferably with a stand mixer, but a fork will do in a pinch. (it’ll give your forearm a good workout too!)
Spoon batter into 8 greased muffin tins, or shape into buns on a cookie sheet. Let rise in a warm place until roughly doubled in size. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes until the rolls are golden.
Cool on rack.
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