Cornmeal bread

Sounds so American… I was surprised to read I could mill my own cornmeal with pop-corn. This could be handy for Latin American Australians to know, as real corn flour is needed to make tortilla fIMG_0134rom the Northern Latin countries (which, is very delicious).  Apparently you can also make polenta from popcorn too. I’m actually not looking forward to the next one… milling chickpeas as a substitute for sorghum. Perhaps it’s because the first brand of GF flour I had (Before I was introduced to the wonderful white wings GF flour range) featured soy and lentils or something… I have tried hard to forget because I cannot forget the flavour. Not so bad in fritters, béchamel sauce and other savoury dishes but definitely not suitable for sweet dishes such as cake. 
IMG_0135But the angel Judie on my shoulder tells the devil angel that chickpeas are very healthful and she might be surprised. And she further argues that I don’t eat that much cake any more (Unless my sister friend makes it for me- her GF brownie cakes rock, as does her GF Sand Cake, Monte Carlos and gingerbread people).
So this morning I had a brainwave, make the cornmeal and chickpea dough at the same time, and only make a ¼ batch of the chickpea, in case its yucky.
Sounds brilliant! I’m no mathematician and prefer someone just to check my numbers even when I am halving a half. Not-so Honey decided he was too tired to check… but it does look like dough and it is rising nicely. I have found that making the dough while I am cooking the bread from the last batch is not only time-wise but placing the new dough near the oven is helping it to rise quite nicely.
First surprise of the morning, the cornmeal aka popcorn milled in the thermomix on speed 9 for 1 minute, looks like polenta at the 30 second mark, and yellow course flour at the minute mark. Chickpea flour is quite yellow too.
Kitchen malfunctions… there were many.
Ok so making a ¼ mix is possible but having a set of kitchen scales handy would be beneficial as the thermomix can only deal in 5g increments. So I had slightly more water and less oil than I needed. The honey was just a guess- a teaspoon and a bit. Tablespoons of yeast and xanthan gum were changed to 1 desert spoon and salt was one heaped teaspoon… no worries.
IMG_0136I decided to see if I could do 2 loaves at a time, Honey asked if we could make one for his Mum. I said no worries. I also decided to make the last ball into more burger buns.
The frying pan could easily fit 2 loaves on at once, but it was tricky. I thought I was so clever resting the bread-board on the oven door as I popped the dough-balls in without a hitch. Then looked down to see the plastic wrap I had peel off stuck to the inside of the oven door at least a minute of hot air was lost with me using the egg flip to scrape the plastic from the door.
IMG_0139 I have found a good way to keep the toast upright in the toaster is to pop 3 in at a time on one side, just don’t get distracted when you are getting them out, as I did this morning and had to “go fishing” once again for the toast slices.
2 buns cooking at once took longer than one bun by itself, but not twice as long. I got caught up blogging and forgot to check the time. I waited for the sweet smell of cooking bread to tell me today. I popped out the baking paper from under the loaves and gave them another 15 minutes.
I think I will pop a small roll of chickpea and cornmeal bread win with my jasmine rolls to compare them.
Just FYI we use a local supplier for our macadamia nut oil and honey, which I use in the bread I bake. There has been some talk of Olive oil making the bread lighter and fluffier. I will try it next with the rice breads, as they are our favourites. I have two types of olive oil, EVOO and very mild.
I did not do the “Shape the bread dough with wet fingers/spoon thing” this morning, I would like to say I wanted to see the difference, but it was time to eat and I had forgotten to put the dough out for the 2nd rising. I was lazy. But I do like the cracked top effect.   
We had the jasmine and basmati bread toasted (Though it was still nice as bread today) with mushrooms, ricotta, salami, aioli and capsicums fresh from the local markets this morning. Delicious. The semi-circle shape of the toast gave the meal a café feel.
Chickpea bread vs Cornbread
Ok somehow I lost track of which small loaf was what on the first day of cooking them. I know that I liked one more than the other and Honey could not tell the difference. He said to me that the bread just keeps getting better. Thanks for the compliments; perhaps I need a 2nd opinion.
Both small loaves were much softer than the Jasmine rolls. Though similar sizes one cooked faster than the other and went a lovely brown on top. It was the softest, and I think it would make the best dinner rolls.
Taste-wise, one was sweeter than the other, I was so sure it was the corn one, (I may have confused them when I put them into the oven, as they were pretty much alike) but to be certain I have cooked a loaf (it is cooling) and have some dinner rolls proving, along with another focaccia base and pizza base.
In case of a prejudicial error on my part, I have made a Maltese soup called brodu to go with the bread rolls for tonight’s dinner. It should be perfect with the lovely rainy weather we are having today. Not great for trying to prove bread, so I have been trying to warm the kitchen with a bolognaise sauce in the slow cooker and am about to make Pizza and focaccia too.IMG_0137
I finally remembered to cut the top of the loaf before I baked it. I cannot say that it had made that much difference to the end result. I think I will continue to make it the way I was making it. The cornbread loaf did not go very brown… could it be that it was the chickpea one all along that was better? The taste of the cornbread loaf is not as I remember it. To be sure I am putting the chickpea loaf on to cook/ it is proving as we speak. Perhaps it is the difference between being in the fridge for a few days and being made up fresh on the day. Though to be honest the jasmine bread did not taste different the next day.
Ok I have cooked and taste tested both again. The corn flour has a slightly more intense fIMG_0140lavour when cooked on day 3 (Which initially tricked me), as does the chickpea flour bread. The chickpea or besan flour bread leaves a slight aftertaste in my mouth, which I find slightly objectionable , however I think that vegemite or a savoury topping/stew etc would mask it nicely. 
I believe that it would be one of the more healthy options as a pizza base, and preferable to quinoa if you are watching your pennies. Jasmine rice is still my favourite, with basmati a close 2nd and cornmeal 3rd. Recipe here

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