Corn Porridge and Rosemary Sourdough Bread

Great timing for this recipe. Had the corn out to make another batch of nixtamal flour and regular corn flour.

I made this bread yesterday. Does have a heavy flavor of rosemary though. My crumb although very good was not custardy and I assume from the combination of flour used.

I used a 50/50 mix of King Arthur Organic Bread flour and home milled whole grain organic hard spring white wheat, along with home milled Dent corn flour. I was not sure how much water was going to be needed as the KA does not absorb much and the whole grain is thirsty. I finalized with 169g of water in the final dough and 140g in the corn. The mix was a touch stickier than my normal sourdough but not by much. After a few S&F’s the dough was very manageable.

After bulk I stretched out the dough to laminate the rosemary in and it was very sticky, needing a lot of extra flour. As this was supposed to be an Artisan style bread all this manipulation pushed out all the entrained bubbles the dough had generated, so the crumb turned out to be more of an enriched style of crumb in my opinion. If laminating the dough was for the purpose of incorporating the rosemary I think next time I will just add it to the mix. I normally make my sourdough using a slightly changed version of Trevor Wilson’s 50% wholegrain which always turns out spot on. Believe next time I will premix (extended autolyse) the flour and add the starter, corn and rosemary and give that a whirl as the gentle manipulation of the dough does open up the holes. As can be seen below the hydration was 79% and was high for my normal sourdough.
Total flour was 430g (including starter)
Total hydration 339 (including starter) or 79%

All in all a great combination for our cookbook. This would go well on Thanksgiving…

BTW Melissa some months ago we spoke about making Nixtamal and I sent you my procedures I used. I said next time I made tortillas I would add hydrated chia seeds to add a little glue to the mix to assist in holding them together and I’d let you know how it worked out. I tried it. WON’T DO IT AGAIN. The pressed tortillas had just enough of a sticky texture they were difficult to remove from the plastic after pressing. WE STILL needed adult beverages (not complaining about this downside though) to get though the process BUT they tasted wonderful. :laughing:

“The journey continues!”

That is a gorgeous crumb on your first loaf and I can imagine how wet that dough felt just looking at it! I hope dough two (love the color) has turned out well.

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Hi Dennis,

Thanks for sharing your experience with the dough using masa harina and a mix of bread flour and whole grain wheat. The hydration info is helpful! I agree you should put the rosemary in early if you had some de-gassing from that lamination. Maybe the dough was a little more fragile with the whole grain component, or maybe since I was making triple batches, I was able to keep things thicker. hmmm.

Thank you for continuing to share your nixtamalizing journey. I’m so sorry the chia seeds drove you to cocktails :slight_smile: A few months ago, one of my kids hit “Order Now” on Amazon cart that accidentally had extra stuff along with his phone charging cables. I opened the box to find my husband had put pickling lime in the cart and I had put 10 lbs of organic masa harina in the cart. We were clearly not on the same page mentally lol.

72% hydration. Photos show dough after 4th fold, loaf and crumb.

Do me a favor if you can remember. When you open the masa harina (I am not going to buy it) note the fineness of the grind. Compare it to the fine wheat flour you make and let me know if it is similar. Diane thinks my corn flour was too coarse which may have been the issue with the tortillas being so fragile. I did regrind my corn on the finest Mockmill setting yesterday but I’ll have to wait until we get up the nerve (and have some extra bourbon on hand) before we tackle the little devils again. Maybe I can find a latin woman around town to show us how it is done, they seem not to have an issue.

Diane made some polenta the other night with fresh tomatoes from the garden and she felt the meal was too coarse for that also.

Hey us guys are never on the wrong page… LOLROF… you ordered the masa harina, that is cheating. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: He was ready to start making nixtamal.

You got the hydration right. After I made mine I made a note to drop it down to 72% also. Nice loaf!!

@jmandel That is a gorgeous loaf, both the color and honeycomb crumb!

@DennisM I’ll check on the fineness this weekend – I’m planning to make pupusas with the masa harina. Two days ago, I made arepas, which required another type of corn flour! Pre-cooked “masarepa.”

Thanks for the links Diane had some of these recipes pidgeon-holed away.

Back to the Corn flour: Diane found a video of the flour, salt and water mix. Our corn dough has definitely not been the consistency we saw on line. My flour was too course, I do have it ground on the Mockmill on the finest setting and it is powdery so we will get some more booze (just in case we need it :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:and try this again.) One tip I found interesting was to take a bowl of water and add a couple of tablespoons of oil to it. Use it to keep your hands wet when handling the cakes. HEY WORKS ON BREAD why not corn dough.

I suspect that in commercial nixtamalization, the corn bran is removed. That would make it finer (and also less nutritious).

I am just tasting my corn and rosemary bread. Baked it this morning. Totally delicious! I used my blue corn and only milled it once. I like the coarser texture. The oven spring was gorgeous. I like the taste of the rosemary. I don’t think it is overpowering. Great recipe, great taste!

When you soak the corn in the cal it loosens the outer covering or hull. The rinsing process washes it all off. So the “bran” or hull is removed. I also use a regular coarse kitchen sieve to remove some of the little black bits that I have on my dent corn. Don’t have to remove the black bits but does make it more presentable.

Of course if you do what this dummy did and add the chia seeds you can’t tell the difference. :rofl:

My latest batch of Nixtamal will be ready to grind tomorrow. Tortillas again next week.

Nice lookingI Have some blue corn flour in the freezer. I bought out West when traveling. Never thought to use. Good job!

Maybe I need to use the 100% bread flour next time… Oh I hope nobody read I said this!!! :crazy_face:

@rockspider That’s a lovely loaf! Beautiful cool color, a light icy blue.

@DennisM Thanks for explaining that the bran situation is the same with your nixtamalized corn and storebought.

I took some photos of my masa harina. Also a video of how “well” it makes tortillas. I was making pupusas and decided to grab my tortilla press and show you my technique for getting the tortillas off my plastic bag…but without fat in the dough, it was more fragile than usual.

Here’s the masa harina close up:

Here’s the pupusa dough recipe and a photo of the dough:

4 cups masa
3 cups water
2 tsp salt

Here’s the link to the tortilla video, it’ll be up for 24 hrs.

And the brunch (filled with cheese and refried black beans)

This is a keeper! Good flavor, lovely soft texture. Made this yesterday. Made 2 loaves with a scaled up recipe for 800 gm flour. It is really tasty but had to modify a bit. Made it with fresh-milled red flint corn. It seemed thirstier so I used a bit more water. Even so the corn really hardened up as it cooled. I really had to work to break it up with mixing. I think next time I might mix it with the water and use a hand blender. When I made the whole dough, it was dry so I added a bit more water.

Thanks for taking the time to show the pics and video it helped. My flour was NOT fine enough. Also in the video the tortilla had what looked like a “plastic” look, mine was not, it was more coarse.

A little history I would like to share. The first time I ground the Nixtamal I used the Mockmill 100. The corn must have had some moisture (although when cut did not seem) and the corn literally plugged the stones and they picked up the odor of the “oversoaked” corn which permeated the grinder. I had to get a new set of stones as they did not think I would be able to clean them. I did but another story. I finished my grind using the Messerschmidt burr grinder on my mixer. After several passes I ground it down to the finest setting which is what I was using for the tortillas. I find now it is not fine enough.

This time I used the Messerschmidt to knock it down to its finest setting and then the Mockmill to grind it down to 1.5 (would not go to 1 where the stones knocked.) It took 3 passes, #10,#5,#1.5. The Masa Harina was definitely fine. My 1 gallon milk jug I grind into was hot as a pistol when I finished. Never experienced this heat before before from grinding.

It was necessary to spoon feed the corn through the machine as it kept stalling at first until I got the hang of how much could go through at one time. I cleaned the stones afterwards with rice and chunks of corn came out. Moisture?

I DO NOT want to scare anyone away from doing this. The flavor difference in homemade Masa Harina is really big. MAYBE I ground the corn too fine, I’ll try and get a sample to better judge. The reason I did not purchase the commercial stuff is GMO corn, I don’t eat GMO’s and the Mexicans online complain about it. I do believe some of the corn kernels I soaked had some residual moisture from my observations and thinking about it. There was actually a haze coming up out of the neck of the milk bottle (it was a hot haze), I thought it was flour but after not finding any fine dust on the counter it must have been steam. That would explain the milk bottle being so hot, almost to the point of not being able to hold the jug. I also noticed a few pieces of corn that looked like they were not dried properly. The corn air dried for 3 days so maybe it needed another day or better yet next time around I will use the dehydrator.

I do know one thing the Mockmill will not grind anything that has any moisture in it so for me a little more experimenting is in order to get the corn “completely” dried out.

The Breadtopia company rep from Germany for Mockmill grinds his corn all the time, he said he also makes Nixtamal. I don’t have his name any longer but he is a very informative guy to talk to. It might be interesting to get some feedback from him. Also one of the guys that work in Eric’s store also makes Nixtamal so there are a couple of sources as they both use the Mockmill. I checked my notes and no longer have either of their names.

Eventually your husband will break out the pickling lime. :grinning:

You mentioned fat in the dough for the tortillas. I have never seen a recipe that used. What & how? Would seem to be worth trying.

Whew! That sounds like an adventure in corn drying and stone cleaning, but worth it :slight_smile:

If you have Netflix, you may enjoy the Mexico episode of Street Food Latin America. The entire series is fascinating. At minute 5:00 in this episode though, you see Dona Vale taking her wet nixtamalized corn to a local mill.

My husband mentioned that in his reading, most people who grind the corn while it’s wet need to add a bit of dry commercial flour to the mix to make it less soupy. Hmmm. I can’t tell if that is happening in this video, but possibly.

Regarding fat in the dough, you’re (of course) correct :slight_smile: Flour tortillas have lard or oil in them but corn tortillas typically don’t.

Those loaves are beautiful. I’m happy you like the flavors and textures in the recipe. I’m glad you were able to break up the dry corn cake! It’s interesting and so emblematic of bread recipes that in the same recipe’s comments some would find the dough dry and others find it wet.

The very first time we ground corn we used wet corn and used the meat grinder. That was after we tried the food processor which did not work at all. After grinding it was necessary to add corn flour to get it to the right consistency. Here is the rub though. Corn flour takes an hour to absorb the moisture, it is much worse than whole grain wheat. If you add some corn four to the batch you really need to wait until it has absorbed the water or all of a sudden you go from wet to dry depending on how much you put in. Can you imagine our condition and empty bottles of wine after hours of attempting this??? :smiling_imp:

I haven’t finished my research yet but I think the moisture content of the corn needs to be around 15% to grind. After I find out for sure I’ll have to run some trials (by weighing) to see how long it takes to dry the corn in a dehydrator. It looks like 8 to 12 hours at 125F. Have to narrow it down.

I also gave you some bad information. I attached a picture I found of a corn kernel. There is an outer shell but there is also bran and other parts of the corn kernel that is probably removed during the commercial rolling of the kernels, which is how they break it down. I have noticed that when grinding during the first couple of passes through the Messerschmidt there appears to be quite a bit of flour material and larger pieces like the tip cap and maybe the bran, it can be sifted out but fine milling in the Mockmill turns it into flour.

Why would the commercial processors want you to have the corn oil when they can make nasties (high fructose corn syrup) with it! :rage: Anyways MAYBE the commercial flour absorbs water quicker than the whole grain. Don’t know. I do have some processed blue corn I could do some tests with and see. I have to add that maybe this is the reason the home ground corn tastes so much better than commercial tortillas. Had 3 people over once and I gave them each a fresh tortilla and the response was WOW what a difference compared to a commercially made tortilla.

When I sent you my process I negated the wet process because it was a real PIA when trying to make the tortillas. At least with the whole grain and what a mess to cleanup. MAYBE adding commercial flour to it would be different. My process did not take the moisture content into account which I find now is crucial to the grinding with a stone mill. Was fine with a burr mill.

Once the kernel moisture content is established, times and temperatures for a batch are known and a way to check and make sure they are dry I do believe grinding will be much less labor-some. Just another learning process. :nerd_face:

Yup, my red flint corn soaked up all the water and a bit more, so I was worried the overall dough would be dry. In the end I think I added about 20 gm to the corn more than the recipe, and another 20 gm to the dough and that was for 800 gram of bread flour. I am certain it makes it hard ot write recipes…it makes a very tender dough, which I like much better than variations I have made with adding cooked polenta.

@DennisM Thank you for doing all this research and sharing it! I hear you on the fresh milled home-made goodness. I make a spoon bread with milled yellow dent corn and it’s amazing.

@woorietsema someday I’ll try this with polenta :slight_smile: