Food, Home & Lifestyle

Savory Corn Flour Bread

Apollonia Poilâne

Lesson time 13:57 min

An Apollonia original, this corn flour bread is a recipe she spent a decade refining. She shares her process for making the gluten-free and vegan loaf, originally inspired by college dinners at Harvard.

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Topics include: Baking · Cooling & Slicing · Storage


APOLLONIA POILANE: The corn flour bread is a recipe I developed when I was a student at Harvard College. On Sunday nights, we had roasts that had little cornbreads. I realized a lot of them called for half corn flour, half wheat flour. So I said to myself to make a 100% corn flour bread. And this was a challenge, because corn flour doesn't have any gluten in it. And because it doesn't have gluten, it doesn't rise. After my graduation, I was able to start working in the bakehouse on my cornbread. And over the course of 10 years, I created the first Poilane gluten-free breads. But it wasn't so much that I was trying to make a gluten-free bread as much as I was just trying to get the pure expression of corn, the richness and the sweetness of its flavors. [MUSIC PLAYING] This recipe, the challenge was how to make it 100% corn flour. The traditional ways you substitute gluten are adding a laundry list of ingredients that I wanted to stay away from because I didn't have any notion of how they really affected us in the long run. And the solution for me was flaxseeds and oat milk. The combination of both create this bind that keeps the dough together. So we have flaxseeds, hazelnuts, corn flour, yeast, salt, and oat milk. We start off with the flaxseeds that we are going to squish with the mortar and pestle. And you really want to use one that's deep enough because the flaxseeds tend to fly away or try and escape their fate. So you squish them, and that might take a couple of minutes. You can also use a blender, if you have one. That's absolutely fine. Once you've squished them entirely, you will have a sort of flour-ish coarse grain, to which you're going to add some of the oat milk. You can use commercial milk, as well as homemade milk. And let sit at room temperature so that the mulsh can come together. So once you've rested the ingredients, you get this mulsh. See how this comes together? This is very liquidy. After 24 hours, it becomes mulshy and soupy. So the combination of the flaxseeds and the oat milk is what creates that binder, which substitutes gluten. So the next step is crushing the hazelnuts. You can use a food processor. Or if you don't have one, just use a solid knife and squish the hazelnuts. And they can be coarse or they can be very fine. Just don't get them to the point where it's hazelnut powder because you want to have the crunch of it in the bread. I used hazelnuts in this recipe because they're very fragrant and they can bring up the flavors of the cornbread, especially as you toast a slice. If you're allergic to hazelnuts, you can replace them by almonds, walnuts, pecans, or forget them altogether. But the thing here is the hazelnuts adds to the flavor profile, and that's what I like about it. Then you're going to oil your mold. This is a tin mold, and you can use cooking oil-- sunflower, rapeseed oil, any oil that will work well with a high temperature. You can use butter as a substitute. I would...

About the Instructor

As a third-generation baker and CEO of the renowned Parisian bakery Poilâne, Apollonia Poilâne keeps time-honored traditions alive with every loaf. Now she’s sharing the joy of making bread from scratch with her recipes and hands-on demonstrations. Learn how to make your own starter and a variety of French breads, including rustic wheat, rye, and brioche. Taste, smell, and feel your way to fresh, warm bread at home.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Apollonia Poilâne

Poilâne CEO Apollonia Poilâne teaches the renowned Parisian bakery’s philosophy and time-tested techniques for baking rustic French breads.

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