I take no credit for this, except for the fact that I was smart enough to try it out. This recipe was created by 4-H wunderkind, Dana Sly from Sioux City Iowa, at the tender age of 11 years. According to internet legend, she won a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair for this vegan delight. I imagine some knowledge of organic chemistry led her to the discovery of ground flaxseed as a substitute for the protein in eggs as a coagulant and binder. Cook’s Illustrated was so impressed with her recipe, they published it in 2005.
I have to admit, I was totally skeptical as are most non-vegans when faced with food that usually contains butter and eggs – I figured if it turned out to be a dry yellow brick, I could always use it to smash some windows during an animal rights protest. But this cornbread was moist, with a crispy crust and a tender crumb. I suppose it is not very vegan if you slather it with loads of butter and honey, which really were not necessary, but still dang delicious. Next time I make it, I will try adding fresh corn kernels and green chiles, and probably some cheese. Clearly, I lack the discipline to be a real vegan.
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup canola oil
- Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 8-inch-square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Grind the flax seed in a spice or coffee grinder until it is powdery.
- Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the ground flax seed, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the ground flax seed in the water for 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well-combined.
- Add the ground flax seed mixture, soy milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture. Beat just until smooth (do not overbeat.)
- Turn into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert cornbread onto wire rack, then turn right side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer. Cut into pieces and serve.