Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wheat bread with toasted corn flour

When we visited the Azores Islands I bought some local toasted cornflour. It has a beautiful toffee colour and a quite intense, albeit pleasant nutty aroma. The only problem was, I had no idea what to do with it. Well, usually if I do not know what to do with flour, I... bake bread.

I used foolproof proportions of 1/3 low-gluten flour (in this case it was cornflour) to 2/3 of wheat flour. Toasted cornflour in this bread provides an interesting flavour and bread flour keeps the crumb elastic, evenly aerated and gives some bite to the crust. As a result we get a nicely baked loaf with a scrumptious and rich toffee coloured crumb. Rye sourdough, which is added the bread, must be active and bubbling, so it is better to feed it with some wheat flour and leave on the counter for about 8-12 hours. If you want to bake bread in the morning you have to feed it the night before, but if you desire to become a home baker after work, you should nourish your sourdough early in the morning.

Sourdough wheat bread with toasted cornflour

Sourdough starter:
120 g (1/2 cup) liquid rye sourdough starter (150% hydration)*
80 ml water, lukewarm
60 g bread wheat flour

Bread dough:
250 ml water, lukewarm
45 g (2 tablespoons) molasses
30 g (2 tablespoons) butter, softened
430 g bread flour
65 g toasted yellow cornflour **
65 g of yellow cornflour
1 and 1/3 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 teaspoon dried yeast

Sourdough starter:
Mix your sourdough starter with water and flour and leave on counter for 8-12 hours

Bread dough:
After that time, add to your active starter 250 ml of water. Melt molasses and butter on low heat or in microwave and add to the starter. Pour this liquid mixture into the rest of mixed dry ingredients and knead a soft dough (adjusting the quantity of liquids or flour if necessary). All this can be done in bread machine on the "Dough" cycle.

Allow the dough to rise and double in volume (it usually takes about 1 hour). Take the dough onto a floured worktop, flatten with your palms and shape a loaf. Leave it in well floured and covered bread rising basket in warm place for a second rise. The dough has to double in volume again. This usually takes about 30-40 minutes.

In the meantime preheat the oven to 240°C (with the baking stone inside and a shallow pan beneath it). Just before baking pour some boiling water in the shallow pan (about 2/3 cup). Put the loaf into the oven and spray it several times with water. Bake in a falling temperature for about 35 minutes (15 min at 240°C, 10 min at 220°C and 10 min at 200ºC).

* 150% hydration is liquid sourdough, made with 1 part of rye flour and 1.5 parts of water (e.g. 100 grams of flour per 150 g of water), it should have the consistency of thick sour cream

** If you can't find toasted cornflour you can toast it yourself. Just put some regular yellow cornflour in a dry frying pan, and toast it until you get a beige colour and nice nutty flavor.


Anonymous said...

What a pretty-coloured crumb! I've yet to come across toasted cornflour - how do you think the flavour compares to regular (untoasted) cornflour in bread?

Agnieszka said...

Thank you for your comment Toxobread. The toasted cornflour flavour is more intense, nutty and maybe with a hint of smoke. You can make it yourself toasting regular cornflour in the oven or in the dry pan on the stove top until it gets a caramel colour. I think the 1/2 cup of toasted cornflour is enough for this bread, more could overpower the flavour.

Anonymous said...

I use it all the time, just make sure to mask the flavor of the bread, add some vanilla and/or cinnamon (or your favorite spices to the custard mixture) nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, allspice are all good ones to work with.....To sweeten it, I use a couple packets of Splenda, as it won't burn like sugar will when grilling the French Toast.....

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