Cooking With Corn Flour : Jetboil Personal Cooking.
Cooking With Corn Flour
Saffron & fennel maize loaf
Why is it that English is so different on either side of the pond? Here in Europe, maize flour is simply maize ground to a fine flour. On the other side of the ocean, the same stuff is suddenly called corn flour, a term used -here- for the maize (corn) starch, also known as maizena and used for binding sauces.
Whatever. What is used in this recipe is not polenta, not corn starch, but plain stoneground wholemeal maize. The same flour that is used to make tortillas, Johnnycakes, corn bread, etc.
This maize loaf is flavoured with saffron, the better quality you have, the less you need of it. It gives this loaf a beautiful golden hue, emphasising the yellow of the maize. A pinch of ground fennel contrasts lovely with the bitterish, dusty flavour of the saffron. The sweetness of the acacia honey, and the rich buttery taste make this an almost irresistible loaf.
In this recipe, the maize flour is scalded with an equal amount of hot water, then, while still warm, mixed with the spices, the honey and butter. This makes a sort of porridge of half-cooked maize grains.
This is then left to cool to room temperature, and mixed with the rest of the flour, yeast, salt, and as much water as you need to make a supple dough.
The rest is like making any other bread. It's kneaded, risen, folded, shaped, proofed, and baked. This moulded twin loaf is easy enough to make, but I think it looks nicer than an ordinary tin loaf.
Ingredients: 30% maize flour, 70% strong white flour, 64% water, 5% honey, 5% butter, saffron and fennel for flavour, plus yeast and salt as you normally would use. This loaf also has a handful of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in it. For a sweet bread you can be a bit more generous with the honey, and perhaps add sultanas, currants, or cranberries.
My second-favorite thing to do with sweet corn (the first being cooking on the cob and eating it with butter and salt). I make these a few times every summer. I think the recipe is based on one from the Cooks Illustrated folks, but I'm not absolutely sure about that.
2-3 ears of corn, husked
1 shallot, minced
2 tbl. flour
2 tbl. corn meal
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbl. buttermilk
cayenne pepper (large pinch, or to taste)
corn oil for frying
Cut kernels off half of the corn. Grate the kernels on the large holes of a box grater. “Milk” the corn cobs by scraping the back of a knife across them. Add the other ingredients (except the oil), and mix well.
Pour enough oil in a large skillet to come to a depth of 1/4" and put over medium-high heat, until the surface shimmers. Put large spoonfuls (about 2 tbl.) of the corn mixture into the pan and cook 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to when done, to absorb excess oil.
I like these topped with a little hot sauce (Cholula in this picture).
This was just a quick snapshot in the kitchen, shot hand-held lit by the counter lighting (I was hungry, and these are best eaten hot, so there you go.)
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