Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How to Add Delicious Dietary Fiber to your Cornbread with Spelt Flour by Cleo Coyle

In our house, we often try “health foods” but unless they taste good, they don’t get tasted much. That’s why I’m delighted to share this recipe for Spelt Cornbread. My husband and I love it.

For those of you who are new to spelt flour, it comes from an ancient grain with more dietary fiber than all-purpose flour; protein that's easier for your body to absorb; and a lovelier, more mellow flavor than whole wheat flour, which is why I like to incorporate it into my baking. As you can see above, spelt also brings a rustic, darker look to baked goods, along with a slightly nutty flavor note that’s quite tasty.

If you'd like to begin using spelt in your own recipes (muffins, brownies, cookies, pie crusts), the rule of thumb is: Replace 25% of your recipe’s all-purpose flour with spelt flour. Once you see how the recipe turns out, you can consider whether or not to increase the percentage on the next go-round. 

From my own baking, I've found that all-purpose flour requires more liquid than spelt—which makes sense because spelt has a higher level of water solubility. In other words, as you increase the spelt flour in your recipe, you will likely have to reduce some of the liquid.

For my cornbread recipe below, I replaced 100% of the white flour with spelt. This required me to reduce a bit of the milk (and happily some of the calories) that I would have had to add if I had used all-purpose flour. 

So this cornbread is better for you, but how does it taste? Delicious! The traditional cornbread flavor is there but with a more complex background note of toasted nuts from the spelt. And now for the recipe...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo Coyle's 
Spelt Cornbread

For breakfast, Marc and I enjoy eating squares of this tasty bread with fruit and coffee. We'll warm it up for 10 seconds or so in the microwave and melt a bit of butter on it—amazing! 

For dinner, we’ll pair it with a bowl of chili or barbecued ribs or chicken. Note my variation suggestions in the recipe. If you prefer savory cornbread, simply reduce the sugar to 2 T. and (if you like) fold in some sweet corn kernels, a finely diced jalapeno, maybe even some shredded cheddar cheese. 

Make it your own and bake it with joy! ~ Cleo 

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save or share, click here.

Cleo Coyle's
Spelt Cornbread

Makes one 8-inch square pan of cornbread

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
(whole, 2%, or skim)
1/2 cup sour cream (drain off any visible liquid)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (for savory cornbread reduce to 2 T.)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon fine table salt
1/4 cup canola (or vegetable) oil 

2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1 cup spelt flour (if using all-purpose flour, see my note below**)
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

*SAVORY CORNBREAD IDEAS – For savory cornbread, consider adding ½ to ¾ cup sweet corn kernels (fresh or thawed frozen; if using canned, drain well). You might also add 1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper (remove seeds and white membrane) and/or ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.

**FLOUR NOTE – If you use white, all-purpose flour for this recipe, you must increase the milk to ¾ cup.


One bowl mixing method: First preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg, milk, sour cream, sugar, salt, and oil. When the mixture is well blended and the sour cream smoothly incorporated, whisk in the baking powder and soda. 

Finally, measure in spelt flour and cornmeal. Switching to a spoon or spatula, stir until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into a loose, lumpy batter, but do not over-mix or you will develop the gluten in the flour and your cornbread will be tough instead of tender. 

Prep an 8-inch square non-stick baking pan by coating bottom and sides with cooking spray or generously buttering the pan or lining it with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and tilt it back and forth to even it out. 

Bake in your preheated 350 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes (the time will depend on your oven). When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter clinging to it, remove from oven. Cool, cut, and eat with joy!

Stay cozy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

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Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick -
King's River Life

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews

* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction

* A Mystery Guild Selection

Delicious recipes are also featured in my 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings
* Poor Man's Caviar 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways

...and many more recipes, including
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop

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by clicking here. 

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  1. I'd like a piece of that for breakfast Cleo! Hope it's turning to spring up your way... xo

    1. Thanks, Lucy, we saved some for you! And we are happy to report the snow is melting (for now).

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. Gotta love Bob's Red Mill products! One of our odd local stores has a six-foot display of them, and I go just to read the labels--there's always something I've never seen anywhere else. And I think I have spelt flour, unless it's whole spelt.

    Swapping in some of the more interesting and flavorful flours is a great idea, Cleo!

    1. Thanks, Sheila. You nailed the reason I chose to do this recipe today. We have been using spelt for a few years, but I was concerned our blog followers would not be able to find it in stores near them. Lately I have seen spelt in large supermarkets as well as small stores, not just specialty markets. If anyone has trouble finding spelt flour, consider ordering it through an on-line store, and I hope you enjoy it as much as Marc and I do..

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. Thanks, Cleo, for a great variation. I have some friends who can only eat Spelt or Kamut flours. This will solve a problem for me and for them. I love Bob's Red Mill and we even get a lot of it hear in the frozen north.

    Many happy hugs.


    1. Sending hugs and hot cocoa back up to you in the frozen north, MJ. Our snow (from December!) is finally melting. So we'll send some early spring weather up to you as well.

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. The cornbread looks so toasty warm in color that I thought it was a blondie at first!
    It's wonderful what tweaks can done to recipes and have something as good, or better, than the original.
    Just have to get out the "60s" mindset (era, not chronological age!) that good or better for you = unappetizing.
    Well done.

    1. LOL, LIbby! I was in the health food section of the grocery store when two women turned their cart down the aisle. One said to the other, "Health food! Ugh. We don't need anything here."