The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough 30% maize flour with toasted sunflower.

Xenophon's picture

Sourdough 30% maize flour with toasted sunflower.

I have about 2 kg of maize (corn) flour lying around.  Of Indian origin but as it has no gluten anyway I didn’t risk running into the typical complications associated with Indian flour (high nominal protein content but very low quality gluten due to bad milling).


Anyway, I wanted to combine this with my faithful wild yeast rye starter as leavening agent.  Contrary to what’s described in most recipes, I built a preferment (100% hydration poolish) using 50 gr. Starter and 100 gr. Maize flour, not bread flour.  Was amazed to see that this actually ferments easier than wheat flour (shorter inertia period and, other factors being equal, quicker fermentation).




- 50 gr. 100% hydration rye sourdough starter

- 100 gr. Maize flour

- 100 gr. Water at 20 centigrade.


Final dough:

- All of the pre-ferment.

- 250 gr. Strong bread flour

- 50 gr. Coarsely ground whole wheat flour

- 50 gr. Toasted sunflower seeds

- 6 gr. Lo-salt*

- 175 gr. Water at 21 centigrade



- Mix starter, water and cornflour, allow to ferment in a loosely lidded bowl at room temperature (21 centigrade) for 12-15 hours (I did it in 12 hours)

- Add other ingredients except salt, mix at speed 1 until combined, autolyse for 20 minutes

- Add salt, knead at speed 2 for 5 minutes, followed by 5 minutes at speed 3.  The dough will come together but be somewhat slack/sticky.

- Bulk ferment in a lightly oiled bowl for 1 hour at 25 centigrade or until doubled

-  Fold, shape, place in a well-floured banneton or baking tin.  Free shaping might not be optimal because the dough is a bit slack.  Let rise for another hour or until doubled at 24 centigrade.

- Deposit on baking mat, spray with water, apply poppy seeds if desired.  Slash

- Bake for 10 minutes with steam in a 220 centigrade oven, then reduce temperature to 190 and bake for another 35-40 minutes until browned and hollow sounding.**

- Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


*:  Lo-salt contains about 66% potassium instead of sodium but conventional salt works equally well, adjust quantity to taste, 6 gr. Looks like an acceptable minimum.

**: Maize flour appears to retain water to a larger extent than traditional wheat flour, a full bake but at slightly lower temps is essential I think.

The bread turned out well, good oven spring and well developed crumb structure.  Slightly more moist that when using 100% wheat flour I’d say, hence the importance of a full bake.  Colour is creamy yellow, good, well developed taste with the corn bringing some sweetness but without overwhelming the whole.

As always, humble apologies for the low quality picture :-)