8

This is my ciabatta recipe:

4 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon yeast

Mix water and yeast
Add flour and salt
Stir into a heavy batter
Set aside covered at least 8 hours
Heat oven to 400
Bake on a flour dusting for 30 minutes

What would happen if I substituted corn flour for wheat flour? Perhaps half and half?

  • 3
    Keep in mind that corn has no gluten. At a minimum, you would need to make up some of the gluten loss with vital wheat gluten or something non-gluten that accomplishes the same kind of thing. – Jolenealaska Dec 15 '14 at 0:00
  • 1
    Jolene is correct. You need lots of gluten for a ciabatta. If by "corn flour" you mean the white starch from inside the corn, you probably won't notice much difference in the ciabatta if you use a bread dough like gluten to starch ratio, and if you do, it'll be some lack of flavor. If you mean to use whole milled corn, it will be more interesting, but also give you texture problems, similar to whole wheat ciabatta. – rumtscho Dec 15 '14 at 11:01
  • You might consult a few recipes for Anadama bread - a bread that is popular in New England - made with some corn meal and wheat flour. It is usually sweetened with molasses. Two things that are common to recipes for Anadama bread are cooking the corn meal first (and allowing it to cool) to soften the corn and adding sweetener to amplify the taste of the corn. Both of these things might be worth considering in addition to the recommendations made by Jolenealaska and rumtscho above. You might also find you need more yeast or a longer fermentation time. – Stephen Eure Dec 15 '14 at 11:42
  • 1
    Questions answered in comments are a pet peeve of mine. Folks, please feel free to add to the wiki answer, and check that you are satisfied with my attribution. – Air Dec 15 '14 at 18:11
  • 1
    @AirThomas I appreciate the consideration of the attribution, and I'm sure the others do too, but it wasn't necessary for my contribution anyway. The reason I commented instead of answering was because I didn't feel I had a complete answer, just one small fact. There is no reason that your answer needs to be a wiki. As a matter of fact: meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/1919/… – Jolenealaska Dec 15 '14 at 19:12
3

As jolenealaska pointed out in a comment, corn flour has no gluten, which is essential to the texture of most breads and many other baked goods. Unless you replace the gluten with vital wheat gluten or some kind of gluten substitute, your corn flour loaf would have a crumbly texture very uncharacteristic of ciabatta.

rumtscho added:

If by "corn flour" you mean the white starch from inside the corn, you probably won't notice much difference in the ciabatta if you use a bread dough like gluten to starch ratio, and if you do, it'll be some lack of flavor. If you mean to use whole milled corn, it will be more interesting, but also give you texture problems, similar to whole wheat ciabatta.

The texture problems you'll get with whole milled corn (commonly sold as "corn meal") will be less if the meal is ground finely and more if the meal is ground coarsely (as for polenta).

Stephen Eure gave this suggestion:

You might consult a few recipes for Anadama bread - a bread that is popular in New England - made with some corn meal and wheat flour. It is usually sweetened with molasses. Two things that are common to recipes for Anadama bread are cooking the corn meal first (and allowing it to cool) to soften the corn and adding sweetener to amplify the taste of the corn. ... You might also find you need more yeast or a longer fermentation time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.