Corn flour is a very useful store cupboard staple. It can be used for a variety of recipes, from sweet to savory, and is generally used for thickening sauces, gravies and custards.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make corn flour, you’re in the right place! Instead of buying it, let’s have a look at how you can make your own version of corn flour.
What You'll Learn Today
Corn Flour Vs Wheat Flour
Corn and wheat flour are made from different things, therefore they have different levels of nutrition as well as taste.
Wheat flour, predictably, is made from wheat. Corn flour, as the name suggests, is made from dried, ground corn.
Wheat flour causes many people issues because of the gluten content, as a growing proportion of people are allergic to this compound.
However, it has been suggested that it is not the wheat itself, but the toxic chemicals and pesticides that this crop is drenched with, that causes the problems.
Whatever the issue, gluten allergy sufferers can eat corn flour without any problems.
Corn flour has fewer calories, which means it might be a choice for those trying to restrict their calorie intake.
Wheat flour may contain more protein, vitamins and minerals than corn flour, so if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity then this may be the one to go for.
Wheat flour is a good source of:
- Dietary fiber
Cornflour is a good source of:
- Vitamin B6
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Cornflour is healthier than processed white flour, because it contains more of the grain and therefore more fiber.
However, wholewheat flour is healthier than cornflour, so if you are choosing your flours based on how good they are for you then wholewheat is the way forward.
Can You Make Your Own Corn Flour?
You don’t HAVE to buy your corn flour from the shops – although this is a convenient, easy and relatively cheap way of getting corn flour.
You can, with the right ingredients and equipment, make your own corn flour at home, for a little bit of effort and not much expense.
You will need:
- Corn on the cob
- Large pan
- Sharp knife
- Baking sheet
- Food processor
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil
- Place the corn cobs into the water for 5 minutes.
- Remove, and dunk them in a bowl of cold water until cool.
- Slice the corn kernels off the cob using a sharp knife.
- Spread the kernels out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 150F, then place the baking sheet inside.
- Bake until the kernels are dry and brittle, but not burned.
- Tip the cooked kernels into a food processor.
- Blend until you get a fine powder.
You can use this exactly as you would use normal, store bought cornflour, and know that it will taste exactly the same and serve exactly the same purpose.
If you use yellow corn rather than white kernels, you will find that your finished flour has a rather yellowish tinge, but this will not affect the taste, or the things you can use this gold dust for.
White kernels are easy to buy; either try a specialist grocery store or order them online to arrive at your door, if you want to make your flour really look the part.
This great video shows you a really good way to make your own cornflour from pre-shucked corn on the cob:
How Do You Make Flour From Cornstarch?
Cornstarch is made from the starchy inside of the corn kernel, and it is different from corn flour as it does not use the whole kernel.
The starchy nature of this product means that it is excellent for thickening sauces, and adding a glossy shine to anything you add it to.
But can you use it to make flour?
The answer is yes, but you will need to add a fair bit of normal flour to the cornstarch, if you want to use it to make a cake or something that you would normally use flour for.
Cornstarch is, to all intents and purposes, flour. It has the same texture, and performs pretty much the same purpose.
You can use your cornstarch as if it were flour, if you don’t have any flour, or you can mix the cornstarch with flour to make a more “floury” consistency.
You should double the ratios of cornstarch with a different type of flour, depending on what recipe you are using.
If you are substituting cornstarch for regular flour, you will need to use twice as much. So if a recipe asks for one cup of cornstarch, use two cups of regular flour.
How Do You Make Corn Flour Without Cornstarch?
If you are making your own cornflour at home, you will find it is very difficult to make the flour without the starch.
If you want to make cornflour without the corn starch, you will have to remove the entire outer layer of the corn kernel, discard the endosperm and make flour with the rest.
This would be a very long, time consuming and fiddly business, which would be difficult to achieve at home!
You can try soaking the corn kernels and processing the starch out of the initial soaking, but there would still be cornstarch in the finished flour, if you do not remove the center of the kernel.
Your best bet, if you are looking for cornflour without the cornstarch, is to shop around – the internet is your best friend when looking for any kind of specialised foodstuffs.
As you can see, making your own cornflour is ridiculously easy, and it is a great trick to have up your sleeve if you have run out of this useful staple.
Making it yourself means you are far more in control of what goes into your flour – and you can impress your friends no end!
Frequently Asked Questions
Corn flour can be measured and used exactly like wheat flour, but you may need to add a bit more liquid than your recipe calls for. Furthermore, the resulting baked goods or other product (e.g. gravy) will be more dense. It will also have a bit of a corny taste.
There are a number of potential health benefits to using corn flour, including reduced cholesterol and blood pressure levels and better digestive health. Using corn flour can be useful in boosting iron levels in the blood and in weight management. Because of these possible health benefits, corn flour may be just fine and even helpful for people with diabetes.
As with any other carbohydrate source, eating too much corn flour can cause blood sugar spikes. Be sure to check with your doctor and follow his or her recommendations closely.
Corn flour is better tolerated by people who have celiac disease or experience gluten intolerance. The reason is that it is less likely to cause inflammation in the gut. Furthermore, it provides lots of fiber, along with extra iron, thiamin and vitamin C.
Nut flours, such as almond and coconut, are generally thought to convey the most health benefits. Almond flour has lots of fiber, protein and healthy fats, and it helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Coconut flour is gluten free, and it provides lots of fiber, protein, healthy fats, iron, potassium and antioxidants.
For more information about corn products, check out this guide on how to grow corn commercially.