Vegan Cornbread

I am not vegan, but I admire those who are.  Once in a while I find a vegan recipe worthy of omnivore attention.  And this is one of them.

This is not your usual dry, cakey kind of cornbread.  This is a dense, moist, chewy loaf with a crunchy top. To keep in the vegan spirit of things, we slathered our slabs of cornbread with margarine.

I was intrigued by the process of boiling ground flax seed in water as a substitute for egg, I would guess.  (If you need to grind your flax seeds, you may do so in an scrupulously clean coffee grinder.)

Vegan Cornbread
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated, February 1, 2005
(Serves 6-8)

2 Tblsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup + 2 Tblsp water
1 cup white flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp table salt
1 cup soy milk (rice or almond milk would be good substitutes)
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray an 8x8" baking pan with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, boil the water.  Add the ground flax seed, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the ground flax seed mixture, soy milk and canola oil.  Beat until just smooth.

Transfer dough to the prepared baking pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool, another 10 minutes.  Cut into slabs and serve.