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isand66's picture

Sourdough Cornbread

  • This ain't your Momma's traditional cornbread, but if you want to try  a great tasting bread with a nice sourdough twang, and corn flavor then read on.

    I just returned from my trip to North Carolina to celebrate my Father-in-law's 80th birthday.  My wife and myself cooked up a storm but unfortunately I didn't have time to make any bread for the occasion so I'm itching to get back to my bread making.

    I decided to try adapting a recipe I found on the  from Steve B. at for a Corn Bread made with a poolish starter.  I used my sourdough starter in place of the poolish and also eliminated the yeast from the recipe.  I used my usual baking method borrowed from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Everyday and the results were excellent if I do say so myself!

    Corn flour is used along with All Purpose flour and since the corn flour does not have the ability to form gluten the resulting bread has a pretty tight crumb.  I tried my best to copy the stenciling design done by Steve B. and I think it came out pretty close.

    Final Dough

    15.80 ounces Refreshed White Starter, 68% hydration  (approximately 6.8 oz. water, 10.5 oz. All Purpose Flour, 3.7 ounces starter)

    14 oz. Water (90 degrees F)

    16 ounces All-Purpose Flour (I used King Arthur's)

    8.95 ounces Corn Flour

    3 Tsp. Salt (sea salt or table salt)

    3 Tbs. Olive Oil


    For the final dough, using your stand mixer or by hand, mix the water with the refreshed starter to break it up.

    Add the flours, salt, and olive oil and mix on the lowest speed for 2 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

    Mix for 4 minutes more on medium speed, adding more flour if necessary to produce a slightly sticky ball of dough.

    Remove dough to your lightly floured work surface and need for 1 minute and form into a ball.

    Leave uncovered for 10 minutes.

    Do a stretch and fold and form into a ball again and cover with a clean moist cloth or oiled plastic wrap.

    After another 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and let it rest again for another 10 minutes.  Do one last stretch and fold and then put it  into a lightly oiled bowl that has enough room so the dough can double overnight.

    Let the dough sit in your bowl for 2 hours at room temperature.  It should only rise slightly at this point.  After the 2 hours are up put it in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days.

    When ready to bake the bread take your bowl out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for around 2 hours.  After 2 hours shape the dough as desired being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don't de-gas it.

    Place it in your bowl, banneton or shape into baguettes.

    Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a moist cloth.

    Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.

    If you want to make the fancy "Corn Stalk" design, cut a strip of paper and place it on the middle of the round dough and sift a light dusting of flour over the dough.  Next make 3 slashes on both sides of the "stalk" and then  place an empty pan in bottom shelf of your oven.

    Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.  I also prefer to use a water bottle and spray the sides of the oven 2 times at 3 minute intervals to add some additional steam.

    Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 - 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.

    Shut the oven off and leave the bread inside with the door slightly open for 10 minutes.  This will help dry the loaves out and keep the crust crunchy.

    Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!

    As you can see the crumb is very tight which is mainly due to the corn flour.  When I make this bread again I would try to add some fresh roasted corn to give it an added boost of corn flavor.

    This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:

  • Please visit my other blog at for some of my older posts and be sure to let me know if you try this recipe.

alpenrose's picture


I have to admit it--I am not comfortable with the idea of using yeast made in Mexic0. I have just travelled down there enough to see the condition of water, workers, etc. However, I did try --purchased at two different times 2 of the large bulk packages of SAF (red). It does not seem to me that I ever get as good a lift off of that as I do from the much more expensive Fleischman's in the jar (made in Canada). I have also read about SAF (gold), but have not tried it. I know, I know, they are all owned by the same French company!  I just want to get a very nice and reliable lift every time and to know that my yeast is really clean.  What are your thoughts?  Have you tried the SAF Gold?  Do you use the made in Canada in the bottle? How does the SAF red bulk work for you?  Am I just a klutz not handling my dough correctly?


dabrownman's picture

Pips Vollkornbrot - Nearly 100% Rye with A Tiny Bit of Spelt

I pretty much followed Phil's post, except my pan was 4 x 2 3/8 x 8 and much smaller in height, so I baked it less time at 2 higher temp and added a lower setting that Phil didnlt use.  I did 45 min at 375 F, 45 min at 300 F and 30 min at 225 F. When I checked the middle of this small loaf was 210 F so I called it done and let it sit in the oven with door ajar oven off for 10 minutes.  205 F would have been a better internal temperature for sure but you can't get everything you want.  It smelled great right out of the oven, not as dark as Phil's due in part to to my rye berries not being very dark ones at all.

When it rose and inch in 30 min starting at the 2 hour mark of final proofing and started to crack, like Phil said it would as a signal to bake it off, I put it in the oven.  I did wait 2 days to cut and try a slice as Phil recommended, but I'm sure 1 day wouldn't make that much difference would it?.  The crust was firm but not hard.  The loaf was easy to cut in 1/4" slices - no worry.  The crumb was actually airy with small holes throughout.  It was also soft yet still chewy, moist and just plain delicious.  Buttered and lightly toasted was also exactly what i expected.  After marketing, selling and delivering Rubschlager Rye Breads for 20 years, I have a taste for fine rye breads and this one reminds me of Rubschlager Rye Breads only more rustic and chewy.  It also looks more rustic than Phil's crumb too.  Maybe I had a larger granules in the soak and scald? It is a keeper for sure.

Here is a lonk to Rubschlager

I am very happy with Phil's Rye as a first try at a 100% rye (if you discount the spelt) for me - thanks for all of your help Phil and Jay (longhorn). It was really not bad at all as long as you are ready and can handle the wetter mass of the dough.  I just floured up my hands and board and shaped on it, plopped it in the oil sprayed pan seam side down and smoothed out the top.  I am glad I was only doing small loaf :-)   Since no high temps required I baked it in my mini oven on a sheet pan, with a larger loaf pan over the top of the aluminum foil covered smaller pan that had the bread in it.  When I bake this again I am going to double the baking time and reduce the heat even further following Phil's advise again.  I think I might try one of Andy's rye breads next if I can find one not too difficult.  Here are some pix's.


frenchcreek baker's picture
frenchcreek baker






MARCH 10-15, 2012

Günter Franz 

Guest Instructor European Master Baker

                              Small Class Size         Hands-On         Wood Fired Oven 


Learn the inside secrets to making European baked goods and specialty German breads. 

Master creating superb artisan breads baked in a Mugnani wood-fired oven.

Discover the art to producing fine European pastry in a home kitchen.

Artisan Breads:

Sourdough; Rye; Whole Wheat; White; Multigrain; Root; Rolls & Bread Sticks; & German Pretzels


European Pastries:

Croissants, Danish Pastry, Stollen, & Other Assorted Pastries

Option 1 Cost: $1200   (10% discount Fresh Loaf Members)

5-Days hands-on instruction, course

recipes, all meals, & B&B lodging

Option 2 Cost: $800

Without accommodation

To Register:

Contact:  PAT HAINS   360-791-8928

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Instructor Bio:

Günter Franz, Master Baker

Weinheim, Germany

Innovative, Creative, Cutting Edge! 

Mr. Franz began his formal training in baking and confectionery while still in his teens. He received his Master Baker status at the age of 23. Several years later, he passed the exam in business administration. 

He has spent his career in large and small bakeries as a baker, confectioner and manager. He has been an instructor for young people in the baking profession for 30 years. For the last four years, he has been employed at the Akademie Deutsches Bäckerhandwerk/International Baking Academy in Weinheim, Germany. 
Günter is currently training students from around the world in the art of baking. Join us for this unique opportunity in German baking at its very finest!  


cranbo's picture

Salt survey

Inspired by a recent thread on TFL, I wonder how many bakers here feel that salt is important to the flavor of bread. 

So I set up a little informal survey here:

With only 2 questions:

  • Do you use salt in your dough when you bake bread?
  • Does baked bread taste good if no salt is used in the dough?

Please take 10 seconds to fill out & submit this survey (one entry per person please :) ) You'll be able to view the results when you submit the survey.

sonia101's picture

Gluten Free Black Forest Gateau

I made a gluten free Black Forest Gateau  for a friends birthday. It was a challenge for me  since the recipe was written in German . I actually doubled the recipe and replaced the 100 grams of flour with GF flour and the cake turned out perfect. I thought I'd share the recipe in case there are any GF bakers interested, the recipe can be found here

Guess I should have cleaned the bench before taking this photo! lol

Mebake's picture

Hamelman's 5 Grain sourdough Bread

Once more, reminded by Karin's blog, i bake another recipe out of Hamelman's "BREAD". The recipe, cast away behind Volkornbrot with flaxseeds in Sourdough Breads section, was unintentionally overlooked. Karin (hanseata)has Praised the bread, and i had to bake a mutigrain SD sourdough sometime, so i did.

The Recipe is 75% Bread flour, and 25% Whole rye flour. The hydration was 99% with all the grains, but i felt it needed 100g more water to the final dough. The dough was sticky, as noted by Hamelman. I slaped and folded the dough in 5 minutes intervals for 30 minutes, in order for the dough to have enough strength. At the end of the slap and fold, the dough was finally coherent and held shape. i suspect that such moderately intensive kneading did leach out much flavor from the Bread flour. How could it be avoided?

I adhered to Hamelman's instructions to the word, including final yeast addition. The fermentation with this dough is very fast, with bulk fermentation of 1 hour, and final fermentation of 1 hour. No folding was required.

The crumb was delightfully open, and was soft, not chewy. The crust was crunchy, and full of wholegrain flavor.

However, i would say that i was somewhat disappointed with the flavor, initially. The flavor will develop in time, but i believe that this bread lacked the intense SD flavor associated with the removal of yeast from final dough. God willing, I'll try this next without the yeast. However, i believe this bread excells when toasted!

Added by Edit:

This is a photo of  tweaked steaming method i used for this bread:


HeidiH's picture

Marble Rye Experiment #1

Thought I'd try to make marble rye since I have both cream of rye flour and dark rye flour at present.  Not bad for a first experiment but I think I need to cook it longer and slower and work more on the rolling.  I thought I had it circling around itself into more of a spiral.

The basics of this loaf:

Dark rye: 50 g dark rye flour,  200 g strong bread flour, 5 g yeast, 5 g salt, and 50 g molasses, 150 g whey (left over from making ricotta)

Light rye: 70 g cream of rye flour, 280 g strong bread flour, 7 g yeast, 7 g salt, 280 g whey.

AP flour for rolling and caraway seed for the outside.  Baked at 350 for 1 hour until 200 internal temp but probably needed a little more time in the oven for the dark to fully cook.

lyra's picture

Pane Di Como recipe from The Italian Baker on

Serious Eats has a short review of The Italian Baker up on their site, and a recipe for one of the breads, Pane Di Como.

I decided to try it out, and made the starter last night.  I used some Barley malt syrup I had in my fridge, and given how "stringy" it gets when it's cold I had a very hard time getting a scant teaspoon.  I didn't have much else to do so I ended up sitting in the kitchen watching the yeast + warm water + malt syrup in a bowl and was fascinated to watch the yeast start foaming up right before my eyes. Wow. Kind of neat to watch it go!  

Then I added in the rest of the starter ingredients and went to bed.  The directions had led me to believe that the starter would be very dry in the morning (about 9 hours later) but I found that under the surface it was still pretty wet. I went ahead and followed the directions to add more water and flour, then left it to rise for 2 hours. It might be because our apartment is a little cool in the mornings, but I saw almost no rising action until well over an hour into it, then it puffed up.

I'm afraid that there was probably a lot of de-gassing when I wrestled out of my ungreased bowl (ooops) and used a bread knife to cut it in half. Formed two round shapes and inverted a mixing bowl over each, then I walked away for an hour.

The directions say to heat the oven to 425, but I have a feeling that my cloche works better if you heat the oven to 500F with it inside for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature once the bread is inside. So that's what I did.  The loaves baked 25 minutes with the cloche cover on, then barely another 10 with it off before the inside was 200F and I took it out.


It has a nice, light texture and seems great for sandwiches. 


I did have problem shaping that perhaps someone can offer me some hints with.  I shaped both loaves at the same time into round balls and left them resting. I can only bake one at a time in my cloche, so the other loaf had an extra ~40 minutes. I noticed it had started slumping sideways, so right before putting it in I tried doing another quick reshaping by pulling the sides down to beneath the loaf.  Should I have held off on the initial shaping of that second loaf?  Maybe put it in the fridge while the first one cooked?


breadforfun's picture

Semolina Filone (with a nod to Franko and dmsnyder)

I was traveling last week and when I returned home I needed a fix of bread baking.  Since my starter needed to be refreshed and built up, I went for a poolish preferment, and Tom Cat's filone was high on my to-bake list.  I read Franko's write up from last year, and he referred back to David's description from 2008, so I was prepared for a "pretty gloppy" dough.  I closely followed the recipe from Glezer's "Artisan Baking" that David wrote up.

The dough was autolysed for 1 hour.  Mixing the final dough, similar to what others described, I had to add quite a bit more flour.  In fact, I increased the amount of flour by 25% (additional 75 gm per recipe) in order to get the dough to resemble anything like workable.  However, after the third stretch & fold the gluten was very nicely developed and easy to work with.  I made a double batch (because one loaf is never enough!) using Central Milling Extra Fancy Durum flour and a mixture of their Beehive AP and Hi Gluten flours.  The dough gets very puffy and has to be handled very gently to retain the gas bubbles that develop.  The results are worth it, with a beautiful golden crust, tremendous oven spring and fairly open crumb with holes of varying sizes throughout (including some large ones resulting from gentle shaping). And it is a flavorful loaf.

Here are a couple of observations: There may be an error in Glezer's recipe that resulted in the gloppy dough.  The poolish calls for dissolving 1/4 tsp IDY in 1 cup of water, then using 1/4 c of this mixture plus 135 gm water and 150 gm flour.  Here's the discrepancy: the listed baker's %-age for the water in the poolish is 110%, which would be 165 gm total.  My measurement for the 1/4 c of yeast-water is 60-65 gm, and when added to the 135 gm of water, using the more conservative 60 gm, this comes to 130%.  The leap of faith here is that the bakers %-age is more accurate than the ingredient measure.  Given the consistency of the overly wet dough described by other TFL-ers, this 30 gm more water could account for it.  I plan to make the bread again and will try this modified formula.

The second observation is that the amount of water used to autolyse the final dough was (in my case) not quite enough to hydrate all the flour.  As pointed out in the book, it could be due to the freshness or the fineness of the durum flour, but because of the wet dough I didn't want to add more water.  In retrospect, I should have.  Next time I may steal a bit of water from the poolish and increase the amount in the final dough, keeping the overall hydration the same.

The crumb came out a bit too chewy for this type of bread.  My wife loves this, but it needs to be toned down just a notch.  I used the high gluten flour because I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough gluten if only AP was used, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Lastly, the final proofing is really short.  I proofed it about 45 minutes after shaping, and it seems a bit overproofed.

Happy Baking!