The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Beginner baking experience, need some advice.

rouncer's picture

Beginner baking experience, need some advice.

Can I get any advice from a more experienced baker?   I'm just a complete beginner and heres my experience->


So for my first 2,  I didnt kneed them,  the first one wasnt too bad,  but the second one fell apart and was absolutely terrible and I used way too much yeast.

But I did half enjoy the first one,  because it was my first ever,  and the second one actually had some nice crust amongst some really offsense crumbly insides that were quite detestful.     It was made out of mostly corn flour (I mean the wheat variety, thats not actually corn.)   - the corn flour bread was white as hell!  and the crust on a good bit was like a chewy roll,   exactly what im after!

I then tried some whole flour, expecting it to be similar,  and I kneeded this one properly,   and I'm yet to give it another judgement,  its sitting there cooling now cut in half,  but it pretty much tasted almost like normal "whole meal"/brown bread,   but not a fancy variety pretty bog standard.

One cool thing on it was, the crust was way too thick and hard  (I had the oven on very hot!)  but it had a bump on it, and this bit burnt more, but it actually was the most pleasant part of the loaf.

So...  I want to make a chewy roll,   and it seems like I need to use corn flour to make it?   Is white bread made from corn flour?   I feel a little guilty, and I was actually expecting the whole meal to be not "brown bread" even tho It ended up having that whole meally kinda taste.

I'm going to get a whole meal sandwich loaf from the shop, and Im going to do a side by side comparison tomorrow,  and get a couple of packs of corn flour, and see if I can get the corn flour bread to work.


Still havent got anything good yet really, but it seems like theres a little potential there,   but not quite there yet.


rouncer's picture

Heres a pic of my 3rd loaf, the whole wheat.  (tasted like Brown bread - but I need to get a loaf of pro stuff so I can see if im being overly friendly to myself yet.)

I dont think it looks as good as the bread that is here,    I pretty much threw it together, but I did do a lot of poolish and kneeded it for ages.


Colin2's picture

The bread looks good!  On your question, what people call white bread is usually made from white wheat flour.  If you are in the UK, as your writeup suggests, look for "bread flour" or "plain flour."

As far as I remember, in British English "corn" can mean any kind of grain.  But maybe usage has changed.  (In the US corn means maize.)

Here's a guide to flour that might be useful:  The closest UK equivalent I can find is a commercial site,


rouncer's picture

Thanks for reply, and the vote of confidence.


But i'm not willing to live on this yet,   is this happening to anyone else?   It tastes really good at first, but then it takes maybe half a day for it to deteriorate in flavour really quickly!    Maybe its getting attacked by mould and it needs preservatives to even last a day out of the oven???   Im not sure at all.


But I've realized something about "corn flour" even tho its made of wheat, is it doesnt seem to build bread, its more for making pancakes with?    I thought that my bread was breaking apart because I wasn't kneading it enough but I think it was the corn flour,  it actually weakens the bread and makes it split apart.

I need to learn more about different types of flour, thanks for link.


For my next loaf  (Im not going to give up!!! Im getting to the bottom of this!!!) Im going to try flour coating before it goes in the oven,  I think it causes it to rise more, via it drying out the outside,   but I need to check it out yet,  then ill report back! ;)


Abe's picture

Cornflour in the UK is Cornstarch. 

If you want Corn Flour (ground whole corn) then you'll need to look for Fine Polenta or Fine Cornmeal. 

Sometimes you'll see it being sold as Corn Flour (i.e. fine corn meal) however it's not standardised. So it depends on the company. Should it say wholegrain then it is Corn Flour/Meal etc. 

Cornflour (one word) will most likely be cornstarch - a very fine white powder. 

Corn Flour, [Fine] Polenta or [Fine] Cornmeal will be yellow and have a lot of different grades when it comes to milling.  The best way to include "Corn Flour" would be to scald it first and allow it cool before adding to the final dough. 

rouncer's picture

Thats Abe,  yeh I had a funny feeling real corn flour would be yellow, not white.


So you boil the "corn flour" first - and get a paste,  yep I see ya.  (I think anyway :))


I've got another loaf on the way,  got a cool idea,  I'll post here results! =)

Abe's picture

It would make sense that corn flour would be yellow but when buying cornflour one might not know the colour till they get home and start baking. 

For a corn flour scald pour boiling water over the flour/meal/polenta (don't boil the corn flour) with enough water till you get the consistency of mashed potatoes. Allow to cool. 

When adding it to the final dough add enough extra water till the dough feels right. Good technique for adjusting the hydration taking in a scald which will absorb more water than what the dough usually needs. always work your way up rather than trying to fix an overly hydrated dough. 

Best of luck and looking forward!