I love the Dutch corn bread. It is so much different than the American version. Here it is very firm. Probably because the main ingredient here is corn flour which is (according to my husband and I believe anything he says… and OK … he might be a nutritionist) gluten free. The word ‘gluten’ is originally Latin for ‘glue’. This ‘glue’ is important to give the grain elasticity so that it can catch and hold the carbon dioxide that is produced by the yeast. The gluten are therefore essential in giving a bread it’s lovely soft and moist texture. So it wouldn’t take you by surprise to hear that the Dutch corn bread is NOT gluten free. And, with respect for everyones opinion about this matter, I truly believe that eating gluten shouldn’t be a problem if you eat it in moderation (unless you have coeliac of course). So …. since I do not follow the gluten free trend, there is no reason for me not to bake this delicious corn bread myself. And why not share it with you then…. 😉
2,5 teaspoons active dry yeast / 7 grams
0,5 teaspoon sugar
3 cups white bread flour / 500 grams (I use these enormous bags of bread flour from Costco for less than 7 dollars each)
3/4 cup corn flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill / 125 grams (plus some extra for the topping)
1/2 cup vital wheat flour (80 grams)
2,5 cups lukewarm water / 550 mililiters
2 teaspoons salt (I use iodised salt to prevent iodine deficiency)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
How to make it
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup (120 millilitres) lukewarm water (not hot, this might kill the yeast). Don’t stir, just put it together. Let it rest until the yeast is foamy (approximately 5 minutes).
Add the bread flour, corn flour, gluten, oil, salt and the rest of the lukewarm water to the yeast mixture.
Knead the mixture for at least 10 minutes into a smooth, elastic and slightly sticky ball (the easiest way to do this is to use a stand mixer with a dough hook. You can also do it by hand but than it takes much longer to get a nice dough. If your dough is too sticky, add some more flour. Is your dough too dry, add some more water. The dough is ready when it slowly bounces back when you push it softly with your finger (like it is in this video).
Keep the dough in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let it rest for 45 minutes (or until doubled).
Unfold a clean kitchen towel and flour it by rubbing the flour into the kitchen towel. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the towel. You can also use a floured proofing basket.
Throw your unused corn flour on the floured kitchen towel or on the bottom of your proofing basket.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl and fold it into the desired shape.
Place the dough in the middle of the floured kitchen towel with it’s seam side up and fold it up. Or, if you use a proofing basket, place it in the basket and give some pressure with your hands so that the corn flour will stick to the top of the bread. Cover with a floured kitchen towel. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
In the meanwhile, preheat your oven to 475 F (250 C).
Take the dough very carefully out of the kitchen towel or proofing basket, turn it around so that your seam side is down and place it into your loaf pan or Dutch Oven. Close it with it’s lid (check if the handle(s) of your dutch oven are heat proof. If they are made of plastic, screw them off). I do not have any experiences with baking this bread in a traditional loaf tin or on a baking tray but I am sure that this will work perfectly fine too.
Slide the loaf pan into your preheated oven and let it bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid after 30 minutes.
Take the bread out of the loaf pan and place it on a wire rack to cool. Let it cool completely.
There it is! Bon appetite.