The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cornstarch in bread?

Edith Pilaf's picture
Edith Pilaf

Cornstarch in bread?

Well, I was making a Cook's Illustrated recipe for a dessert that called for low-protein AP flour with the protein content further reduced by the addition of 1/2 cup of cornstarch to 4 cups flour.  I accidently used KA bread flour instead of the weak AP flour, and now I have 4 cups of bread flour with 1/2 cup cornstarch mixed in.  Can I use this in bread?  Can I use it to feed my sourdough starters?  Will it substitute for AP flour now that the protein/gluten content has been diluted?  Any thoughts as to how best to use/dispose of this flour?  Thanks for any advice.

clazar123's picture

1/2 c per 4 cups doesn't seem like it would have too much of an effect.It may be interesting to see what type of texture it yields.The corn starch will "gel" when the liquids are added and it may tenderize the crumb.Some experiments end up with wonderful loaves.

On further thought, I wonder if you will end up with more of a ryebread type crumb?

Go for it and let us know what happened.

althetrainer's picture

Some people substitute a starch/flour mixture, 1-3/4 cup of AP flour and 1/4 cup of cornstarch, for cake flour.  I add cornstarch to my whole wheat four when I make muffins to achieve a texture between bread and cake: lighter and less chewy, and very lovely!

I am not sure how that specific mixture will affect the texture of your intended recipe. Since there's wheat flour in your mixture, feeding it to your SD starter won't kill it; your starter will have less to eat and if you use the it as a sponge shortly after, your sponge will have less gluten so you may need to add more flour into your dough to make up the defference. 

I have to agree 1/4 C of starch in 4 C of AP flour is not much.  If you use it to make yeast bread it probably will make the crumb a bit weaker than regular wheat bread.  The only way to find out is to experiment with it. 

Whatever you're going to do with it, hope you will get great results! 



Edith Pilaf's picture
Edith Pilaf

thanks for the comments.  I will not use it in my starter.  My last loaf of SF sourdough was a little chewier than I like, so I may make my next loaf with at least part of this cornstarch mixture.  I just hope it doesn't adversely affect the flavor.

Edith Pilaf's picture
Edith Pilaf

Thanks for giving me the confidence to try it.  I just made some French bread this afternoon, but didn't have the nerve to do anything unusual.  I might try it in my Thanksgiving challah next week.

quickquiche's picture


I tried a little experiment last week. I was making a French bread "batard" or whatever you want to call it.

I did just a basic flour/water/yeast starter. Left it over night at room temp and then added it to another mix of flour/water/yeast/salt/cornstarch...

It didn't quite give me the flavor I was hoping for, but it did give me an airy crumb that I didn't expect but was very happy to see.

I guess the cornstarch helped reduce the protein level to give that airy crumb that is common to baguettes. 

I'll definitely be doing that again. :)