The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sweet Corn Raisin Bread

Sweet Corn Raisin Bread

corn raisin artisan breadLast week I posted a basic cornbread recipe. I suspect some folks reaction was "ho-hum". So this week I'm showing that you can, indeed, do more with corn meal than just make cornbread.

How about a yeasted bread with corn meal? How about a sweet raisin yeasted bread with corn meal in it? Sound good? It did to me.

The recipe and a lot more photos are below.

I based this one on a recipe from a little Betty Bossi baking book that my father-in-law brought back from France (Betty Bossi is, I gather, like a Swiss equivalent of Betty Crocker). My French is fair, as is my metric system, but thanks to my scale, which can toggle from metric to imperial, I was able to pull something together pretty quickly.

I'm going to print the recipe with the original metric measurements. Next to each I'll include my imperial approximation, which also include my substitutions. My translations and measurements aren't exact, so if you are a stickler you can use the metric measurements or do the math yourself!

Sweet Corn Raisin Bread

Original Metric Measurements Imperial Approximation and Substitutions
150 grams corn flour
1 deciliter water
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup water
350 grams white flour
1/2 cube (approx. 20g yeast)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 deciliters milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pinch saffron
50 grams butter
2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
saffron I'm too cheap!
2 tablespoons butter
75 grams raisins 1 cup raisins
1 egg yoke
1 teaspoon water
1 pinch salt
2 pinches sugar
1 egg yoke
1 teaspoon water
1 pinch salt
2 pinches sugar

Mix the corn meal and the water together in a small bowl and allow to soak for half an hour.

Pour two cups of the flour in a bowl and combine with the yeast, sugar, salt, and saffron. Make a well in the middle and pour in the corn meal soaker, remaining milk, and butter. Stir until well blended.

Stir in the raisin and then add additional flour by the handful until the proper consistency is reached (tacky to the touch but not sticky, and clearing the sides of the bowl when mixed).

Pull the ball of dough out of the mixing bowl and place it onto a clean work surface. Knead the dough for 10 to 12 minutes, until it begins to feel smooth and satiny. Place the dough back into a clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, roughly 90 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl and gently degas it, then shape into the desired shape. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a moist towel and allow it to rise until doubled in size again, roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour.

sweet corn raisin bread rising

While it is rising again, preheat the oven (and baking stone, if you are using one) to 425.

sweet corn raisin bread being glazed

When it has doubled in size, glaze the loaf with egg wash made from the egg yoke, water, salt, and sugar. Score the loaf so that it doesn't tear in the oven, and then place it into the preheated oven.

sweet corn raisin bread glazed and scored

After 5 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. After 15 minutes rotate the loaf so that it bakes evenly, and then bake it until it is done. You'll know it is done when it is nice and brown, sounds hollow when tapped on, and reaches an internal temperature of at least 185 degrees. In my oven this took around 40 to 45 minutes.

Allow the loaf to cool for at least half an hour before slicing.

sweet corn raisin bread complete

Further Exploration

I was very pleased with this loaf, but I have some ideas I'd like to try to make this bread even better. One idea is instead of using 1 cup of medium grind corn meal, use a mixture of finely ground corn flour and coarsely ground polenta. Something along the lines of 3/4 cup corn flour and 1/4 cup presoaked polenta ought to lend the loaf a smooth, creamy crumb with a few crunchy bursts of polenta here and there.

The other idea I have is to substitute honey for sugar, and maybe increase the amount of sweetener just a tad. The thought is that I might be able to get a flavor something along the lines of cornbread with honey butter baked right into the loaf. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good.

Olive oil instead of butter might be good too.

So many options... and never enough time to bake!

Have any ideas for other ways to modify this loaf? Or questions about it? Please comment!


crumbbum's picture

woooo. I bet this would be yummy in that bread pudding I'm going to make.

Floydm's picture

Addendum: I made this loaf again using corn flour instead of corn meal. It came out much smaller and I feared it was going to be too dense to eat. But, in fact, it was still wonderful toasted, with the corn flavor spread throughout the loaf instead of just in the crunchy little corn meal nuggets.

Robert's picture

I have been baking bread for about 20 years,, and good bread for 6 months.

Were I to make this bread,, my loaf would rise flat, and get even more flat in the oven,, and I would end up with a delicious pancake.

How do you keep the bread from going flat?

Floydm's picture

I think with this one I was able to pinch it tight enough on the bottom that there was pretty good surface tension keeping it in shape. But that is not always the case.

The trick I've been using for really slack doughs is that I bought a couple of cheapo baskets about 8 inches around at Goodwill (my discount version of the fancy bannetons they sell at kitchen stores). I line them with kitchen towels, sprinkle some flour on the towels, and then place the balls of dough in them while they are rising. I pull the dough out of the baskets just before popping them in the oven. They definitely preserve their shape better this way.

hotbred's picture

PLEASE PLEASE Try it with eggnog!!! from the supermarket!!! The recipe calles for 1 cup milk Throw in the NOG!!! Its almost christmas!! EEven to give as a gift! It will knock their socks off. I liked it any way, also lighten up on the sugar in the recipe if u use eggnog its pretty sweet by it self. that makes it a kinda sweet with an eggnog flaver for the holidays YOU can even use it on a large table center centerpiece ring thats sweet dough too... HOTBRED Happy holiday TO ALL OF U

Paddyscake's picture

This sounds awesome..
I recently made a few loaves of blueberry corn bread,
which were very good. For a variation, how about using
blueberries instead of raisins?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sweet Corn Raisin as Birthday Loaf

Sweet Corn Raisin as Birthday Loaf

Very tasty. A little left over next day, unlike baking powder and soda corn bread, there is no "after taste" the next day or bitter soda point. Good flavor! Hubby said to keep the recipe. Used a two-part quiche pan with aluminum foil bottom, on lower rack 25 min 180°c . Ya can see all them little scissor cuts. I bet this would be good with fresh cut sweet corn in it too, like fritters! :)

 all in the wrist!

Scissors for scoring... makes it look so fancy!

Mini Oven

zolablue's picture

Wow, wow, WOW!  I just love this loaf!  How absolutely beautiful.  Not to mention Floyd's recipe sounds out of this world since I love any type of corn bread and rasins, too.  I'm going to have to add this to the long list of "to make" but I doubt I can do it as beautifully as you have. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Get yourself some clean scissors and get ready. Sticking both points in dough at the same time:  First cut outline of a "square" on top not letting corners touch. Then add 3 snips to form squares at 12 oclock 3, 6, and 9 repectively. Add some snips inbetween and "wella!" finished.

Mini O

Susan's picture

Your Sweet Corn Raisin Bread is just breathtaking!

Susan from San Diego

AW's picture

That is so very pretty. You just inspired me for the next loaf.



kdwnnc's picture

Used your directions for the scissor cuts on an olive and thyme bread.  It was so pretty when it came out of the oven! Thanks for posting this.

helend's picture

Great recipe Floydm, did use the saffron and a little extra butter but didn't glaze the top - too mean to use an egg yolk!

Made it in 2lb loaf tin - great rise and easier for the knife-manglers at home to cut!


Paddyscake's picture

I made this today with a few variations. I didn't have any raisins, so I used dried blueberries. I also sauted a cup of corn in olive oil until caramelized and then mixed that in. It is now I'll have to wait to see how it tastes!

UnConundrum's picture

This bread sounded interesting to me, so I adapted the recipe over to a no-knead method.  I've posted my adapted recipe, together with a bunch of step by step pictures at .

Bread got a thumbs up from the family :)  Thanks Floyd for the inspiration. 

hotbred's picture

Its a very traditional holiday cake bread coffee cake . Call it what u may,Please bear with me.

5 c flour AP

1 stick butter,

1/2 c sugar

1 can evaperated milk [Its richer]


grate skin of 1 lemon & juice of 1/2 a lemon..

1 cup of slivered almonds, you could toast them a little.

1 small container of candied fruit

1 cup of raisins

in bowl put sugar butter evaperated milk in pot,scald cool to 110 100 2 paks yeast in alittle warm water pinch of sugar 5 min u will see if it is alive, ADD to flour in bowl , add warm milk sugar mix soak fruit nuts raisens in two shots rum & your vanilla in another bowl for later, now add rest of your flower and then some to make a nice dough dont forget lemon rind & juice Take dough ,put in nice warm place covered an hour to rest feed build cells & expand then put dough on table, flatten with your hand throw handful flour on fruit & nuts mix litely , now mix togeather make 2 loves let rest raise bake 375 35min or brown, brush well with plenty butter when alittle cool smother with powdered sugar twice. eat thin slices 3 4 days later keeps well keep long time in frezer G B hotbred

beenjamming's picture

I was thinking about trying this out with buttermilk instead of milk. Does anyone know was kind of effect that might have on yeast activity?

Bakequery's picture

I'm wondering about adding some tumeric for coloring the loaf instead of the saffron that you are too cheap to use.  What do you think?


xma's picture

I know this thread is a bit old, but I've been tinkering with yeasted corn bread. My aim was to achieve a balance between the flavor of corn and yet achieve the crumb of wheat bread. I'm a sandwich person and I wanted a sandwich version of a Mexican soft taco, if that makes sense. I credit Hamelman, Glezer and Floyd, for this recipe is really a hodgepodge of their formulae and techniques.

Baker's percentages (rounded off):

75% unbleached flour

25% corn flour

52% water

11% milk

9% honey

8% butter

0.7% instant yeast

2% salt

32% corn


160 grams (g) unbleached flour

160 g water

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Incorporate yeast into water and stir in flour until the soft dough is of uniform consistency. Let stand 1 1/2 to 2 hours in about 72F.


160 g corn flour

170 g water

Mix together and let stand in refrigerator while fermenting the sponge.

Final dough:

320 g unbleached flour

70 g milk

60 g honey

50 g butter, very soft

13 g salt

200 g corn - cooked, cooled, and scraped from the cob (one big ear was enough)

Mix together all the ingredients, including sponge and soaker. Add water or flour as necessary to achieve a fairly stiff but kneadable dough. (Caveat: the formula I drew up only started with 42% water but the dough kept soaking up water while kneading, and I'm sure I added at least another 60g.  I also added the milk in the soaker to give it enough liquid, since I haven't added the additional water yet.)  Knead until smooth. It was quite an effort to retain that much corn in the dough, and no-can-do that kneading technique of slamming the dough onto the countertop; the corn kernels will go flying all over your kitchen (I tried).

Let proof for 40 minutes to an hour. Fold. I retarded the dough overnight in the ref, folding four times in the first few hours in the refrigerator.

The next day, divide the dough into two. Bench rest about 30-60 min to let it come closer to room temp. Shape the loaves, let them proof for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Score. I baked them from cold start, started off at 450 degrees, then turning down to 400 after 20 minutes. Bake until done.

A mistake I made was not following Glezer's instruction to bake in loaf pans. I think it's because that much corn kernels prevented me from creating good surface tension, and the loaves therefore spread. If using loaf pans, I would lower the temp to 350 just like Floyd's. I also want to try this using corn meal instead of corn flour, and be able to compare.




nesren's picture


tjkoko's picture

The original recipe called for saffron.  Just get some at your local asian indian market where the price is much lower than that at supermarkets.  As opposed to either Spice Islands and McCormick at the supermarket and both who charge prices that aren't cheap, visiting either a middle eastern store or some asian market will result in your getting way lower prices on most spices including saffron.  DEALER DIRECT, if you will, really straight from Asia, the Middle East and Indonesia.



charityboo's picture

I loved the texture of this bread.  I misread and added the yolk to the dough, turned out nicely, also subbed honey for sugar.  Will definitely make again.

SusanWozniak's picture

Although I like the flavor of traditional Italian corn meal cakes, I find them rather dry.  I have made the moist corn bread from Recipes for a Small Planet for more than 30 years.  This quick bread recipe features honey, oil and lots of yogurt.  In fact, I had to cut down on the yogurt as my family found it too moist.

I tried the cake once with yogurt.

1 and 1/2 C all purpose flour

1 C corn meal

1 and 1/2 C yogurt

2 T baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

2 large eggs

1/2 stick melted butter


I combined the dry ingredients together.  Then combined the wet, starting with the eggs which were beaten whole until light and frothy.  I added the wet to the dry and folded the wet in, being careful not to over mix.

I used a sunflower shaped pan which was too large.  I think a 9" square would have worked well.  Baked for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.


Served slightly warm, dusted with powdered sugar.  The proper Italian method would be with fruit and whipped cream.  Thought taste was a tad bland.


I was planning to add lemon but forgot it.  Will try cake again with lemon zest and lemon juice. Could be made with a glaze flavored with Limoncello.   Also considering adding slivered almonds and a bit of almond extract and/or almond liquor.

Mily-BreadBakingMtBiker's picture

I made this bread several times in 2007 but just recently posted about it on my blog <a href=""> <i>At Home In The Kitchen </i></a>.  Thank you Floyd for a nice recipe and a good read.


kdwnnc's picture

This was the first recipe I made from here after I found this site, and it was so good.  I will deinitely make this again!

VVK's picture

I followed the recipe pretty much. Used coconut milk in place of milk. WHole wheat flour - 2 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSp of vital wheat gluten. Came out very good.

judithh's picture

I made this today, with some modifications, and it turned out pretty nicely! 


I used molasses rather than sugar; I like the combination of flavors that corn flour and molasses provides.  I used 1-1/2 TBS of molasses. 

Also:  used buttermilk rather than regular milk, same amount as in the recipe

And... in place of raisins, I decided to use dried blueberries; they just seem to go with the corn flavor to me! 

I decided to use my brand-new brotform for the final rise, as well. The dough is a bit too soft for this, probably, but it was my first opportunity to use my new toy.

I think it turned out really well!

If I can figure out how to upload pictures, I'll post it here!




ae.enyia's picture

I live in Guatemala, where my in laws just made sweet tamales with raisins for the hoildays. I am a bread person and thought to my self, well just add a little flour and I can make a sweet corn bread with raisins. Its so funny to come across this recipe. I will for sure make it and share it with my in laws. They always love the fancy breads I make. 

MelodieK's picture

Raisins, too, so I'm gonna try. And thanx for taking the time to translate measurements from the original metric. Your approximations suit me just fine.

MontBaybaker's picture

Is some of the milk used in th soaker?  Paragraph two says "add remaining milk", which seems to indicate it is.  

The moistest, non-gritty yeasted corn loaf I've made to date.  It was still moist 3 days later.  Reheated the raisin soaking water and used it in the soaker.  Made a 9 x 5 loaf (2-1/2 lb) and it rose and baked beautifully tall. Not over-proofed.  I ended up adding a bit more flour and maybe 1/8" tsp more yeast because I put too much liquid in the soaker (my aging eyes misread), then had to adjust to get the correct dough, but it came out great and my husband agrees it's a keeper.  Next time I'll use a banneton and play with variations.  Another great recipe from floyd.

Janetcook's picture

Hi Floyd,

I was reading through some of freek's old posts and ran across one that led me to this loaf of yours.   I love that we can do that!

As others have said, freek included, I made modifications which included using the corn to make polenta that then had pumpkin puree, cream cheese and nutmeg added to while it simmered.  The resulting loves got rave reviews.

So, thanks for sharing your original thoughts here.  They are now feeding people in my neighborhood :*)

Take Care,


MontBaybaker's picture

Haven't made this since last year - enjoyed it.  Corn sounds good right now while we're impatiently waiting for our garden crop to be ready in late summer.  If necessary for time constraints, is it OK to bulk-ferment this dough in the refrigerator for several hours?  

Dogma's picture

Wow , the oven rise on this was more that I've even experienced in one of my breads, perhaps because I usually work with more whole grains. Will make my slashes larger next time - In spite of my usual cuts, the loaf tore as it baked. Looked and tasted great nonetheless. Used half polenta and half regular corn meal. Next time may do an overnight soaker with the corn meal as Peter Reinhart prefers for all of his whole grains.