I am in the UK, but acquired a taste for cornbread from previous visits to the US (it is almost unknown here).

I’ve successfully made cornbread in the past and have quite a lot of cornmeal in my kitchen. However, at this time of lockdown, with folks getting bored and baking at home, it seems to be quite hard to get hold of flour; stocks are running low. Every recipe I can find online for cornbread involves using (roughly 50:50) flour with cornmeal, usually all-purpose.

I’d like to minimise the amount of flour I use. Is it possible to make cornmeal with no, or very little, flour? How little can I get away with and how should I amend the rest of the recipe?

  • 3
    Cornbread made with flour is a northern thing. The further south the recipe originates from, the less flour it is likely to have. I've never used flour when making it personally. Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 17:23
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    Cornmeal is a kind of flour, just coarse and made from maize instead of wheat. As @Roddy mentioned, it's unusual in the South to include wheat. Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 1:42
  • It’s a bit late, but you might find recipes searching for ‘gluten free cornbread’, but many are going to use corn flour (aka masa, a very fine cornmeal, not cornstarch like in the UK), but you might also look for recipes for ‘jonnycakes’ which are a cornmeal pancake. Some get around using cornflour by pre-soaking some of the cornmeal, which might work for cornbread, too)
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, generally the problem with corn based doughs is cohesion.

Cornmeal only mixes tend to be very crumbly and the resulting consistency weak, hence the addition of flour to increase gluten content and help improve agglutination.

That being said, upon a little research there seem to be plenty of flourless recipes around, originating more towards the south of the United States where apparently it is more common to use less flour.

A quick Google search will probably yield lots of recipes for no flour cornbread.

Most just seem to compensate with the inclusion of additional eggs, more sugar, milk or other binding agents to help with cohesiveness.

You may also not adjust at all and simply accept the fact that you will end up with a crumblier consistency and "sandier" texture. It is mostly a matter of personal preference, so if this is not an issue give it a try if you have a chance. Maybe you enjoy the slightly stronger flavor and coarser feel.

In Portugal we have a traditional type of cornbread called Broa which is closer to an actual bread, rather than a quickbread or cake. It is made with cornmeal, combined with rye or other cereals, the ones with higher ratio of corn are generally considered higher quality. It tends to be a heavy bread with dense but crumbly consistency, dark brown crust with a cracked appearance and a slightly crunchy feel.

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    Thanks! I've got plenty of eggs so will probably try that. Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 12:10
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    Hi, I was interested and searched around, but did not find any recipe without wheat (ok, a couple of them had rye). Any suggestions what terms to use and where to get the wheatless ones?
    – rumtscho
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 8:20
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    For cornbread I found a few with No flour cornbread . Didn't actually search any for broa but indeed most do seem to always have wheat or other cereals mixed in. I don't have Pinterest but this was the only one that popped up pinterest.com/amp/pin/820499625836681890 Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 13:46

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