Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Corn Flour Rolls (bbd #12: Small Breads)

Posted by bakinghistory on August 1, 2008

Soft dinner rolls made with corn flour and flavored with lemon zest

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breadbakingday #12 Bread Baking Day is a monthly blog event initiated by Zorra and hosted this time by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen.This month’s theme is “small breads”.

These corn flour rolls are soft and light, slightly sweet and wonderfully flavored by a good amount of lemon zest and a touch of butter which combine perfectly with the taste of corn.  Corn flour is finer than cornmeal and provides a nice chewiness without making the texture gritty.

The recipe comes from an American collection of recipes published in 1918 and meant to provide people with ways to conserve precious resources such as wheat flour and sugar. Despite the economy of ingredients these rolls truly taste rich and wholesome, and are well worth trying.

From the original recipe by Amelia Doddridge

In: “Liberty Recipes”, 1918—USA


1/2 cup scalded  milk

1 egg, well beaten

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp melted butter

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

zest of 1 (organic) lemon

1/2 cup (60 g)  corn flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)

1 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water

3/4 cup to 1-1/2  (105g to 210 g) cups bread flour (or as needed) (I used King Arthur bread flour)

Pour the scalded milk over the sugar and salt, mix well and set aside to cool. Once the milk mixture is lukewarm add 3/4 cup of bread flour and the dissolved yeast. Mix vigorously and let the sponge ferment,covered, until doubled.

When the sponge is light add the melted butter, egg, grated lemon rind and corn flour. Mix well at low speed then add just enough bread flour to make a dough that is very soft but well developed and just slightly tacky.  Do not add too much flour or the rolls will turn out dry and heavy.

Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough to rise, covered, until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Gently transfer the risen dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide it in 12 equal pieces. Shape each into small round rolls (the dough is too soft to keep well any other shape more complex than rounds or ovals). Place each roll onto a rimless baking sheet and lightly brush with milk.

Let the rolls rise, covered, until doubled. Brush again with milk then with sharp kitchen scissors cut a decorative pattern on each roll.

Bake for about 20 minutes until nice and golden.

These rolls are great to eat either warm or cold. They can also be split and toasted to have with jam or marmalade, and can be frozen once cooled.


13 Responses to “Corn Flour Rolls (bbd #12: Small Breads)”

  1. I love the simple and beautiful scoring pattern on these; combined with their golden color, what lovely rolls!

  2. Simona said

    Very nice! Do you think the dough can be handled by hand? I would like to try the recipe, but I don’t have a stand-up mixer.

  3. Aparna said

    Thank you Manuela for sending in these beautiful rolls for BBD. I liked the pattern on the rolls and the use of corn flour in them is new to me.

  4. bakinghistory said

    @ Susan: Thank you 😉

    @ Simona: yes, the dough can be definitely be made by hand, also because the recipe produces a small quantity. Kneading by hand you can also get a better feel of how much flour you need to add.

    @ Aparna: Thank you for hosting, I am glad I was able to participate—even if at the very last minute!

  5. Louise said

    Manuela your rolls look simply delicious. If you keep on posting recipes like this with these luring pictures, I may just have to take to baking one day.

  6. bakinghistory said

    @Louise: Thank you 😉

  7. Jude said

    I love the scoring on your rolls. It simply looks so elegant. I’ve been a longtime reader of your amazing website — found it through The Fresh Loaf

  8. bakinghistory said

    @ Jude: Thanks! 🙂 I love your blog as well—added it to my blog roll. I look forward to participating in bbd #13 which you are hosting.

  9. Eva said

    These look really lovely! Is corn flour the same as maize flour? That’s what I have on hand but I don’t know much about its properties… Can I substitute this?

  10. bakinghistory said

    @ Eva: Thank you! 🙂 Yes, Corn flour here is maize flour, which is ground finer than cornmeal.

  11. Valerie said

    Does anybody have a recipe for bread or buns using NO wheat flour, yeast or eggs ? I know it sounds crazy, but I can only use corn or rice flour & no yeast or eggs. Baking powder is OK, though.

  12. bakinghistory said

    @ Valerie: Hi! I do not have recipes as you describe, I am sorry. Thank you for visiting! 😉

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