Corn Flour/Masa Harina
- 1 cup weight = 112 grams
- Milled from corn kernels, this is finely ground whole grain cornmeal that comes in yellow and white varieties. One form of corn flour is masa harina (milled from hominy) used in making corn tortillas. Inexpensive compared to other GF flours, easily available at most supermarkets. Check label to confirm gluten free.
- If corn flour isn’t available, you can make your own by grinding cornmeal into a fine powder in a food processor. High in fiber with a slightly nutty taste, corn flour is a good source of fiber, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron and thiamin.
Store in: refrigerator in an airtight container.
How to use: Blend with other gluten-free flours, preferably rice and sorghum, buckwheat or amaranth for hearty baked items. Use it for tortillas, waffles, pancakes, breads and desserts. Great for cornbread and as part of a breading for deep-fried foods or use to thicken sauces.
Watch out for: Corn flour absorbs a lot of water. Don’t confuse U.S. made corn flour with the so-called “corn flour” (really cornstarch) used in Great Britain.
Substitution: Try sorghum flour
- 1 cup weight (medium grind) = 128 grams
- High in fiber, iron, thiamin, niacin, B-6, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Cornmeal is great for breading. It lends excellent texture to foods such as cornbread, muffins and coarser baked goods. It has a nutty, slightly sweet taste, with a grainy texture when used in pancakes and cookies.
- Cornmeal is made by grinding dried corn kernels. Larger particle sized than corn flour, cornmeal is available as fine, medium or coarse grind. Select finer grinds for baking and for polenta. Use coarse meal for breading. Water-ground or stone-ground types are more nutritious than steel-ground, since more of the corn kernel is retained. Easily available at most supermarkets.
Store in: refrigerate to extend shelf life.
How to use: blend with corn flour or a gluten-free flour blend. In most recipes, it should be no more than 25 percent of the flours used. However, some cornbread recipes call for just cornmeal.
Watch out for: select the grind that is right for your recipes. Using too much cornmeal or a grind that’s too coarse produces a gritty texture.
Substitution: try almond meal although a bit lighter by weight, it has a similar nutty flavor and grainy texture or you can use rice bran. If you’re okay with bean flours (some people have trouble digesting the bean flours) try Romano bean flour. The bean flour adds protein, structure and texture to baking. If the cornmeal is for dusting pans or meat, use rice flour instead