Traditionally, corn has been the crop of America. It is widely accepted that Native Americans even cultivated it long before colonization. Although cornbread is a cornerstone of Southern cooking, the fields and fields of gold Northwest corn inspired me to use it as a basis for this dough.
For a long time after Hart was born, we avoided gluten (amongst other things) in our family diet. When he was breastfeeding, he was having a negative reaction to it. Over a year on, we have carefully reintroduced it to our diet, but I think I actually prefer cooking without it. Don’t get me wrong… Gluten-filled buns would take a lot less experimentation. However, I think this dough is absolutely worth it for the hearty healthful flavor. My kids have thoroughly enjoyed eating all of the prototypes before we got to the one that works.
This recipe yields 8 round buns.
What you will need:
- 2 cup (160g) cornmeal
- 1 cup (70g) oat flour
- 1/4 cup (40g) potato starch
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (I used coconut sugar, but I am not a snob about it. What I would love is a locally source fruit-based sugar.. Maybe from apples? Any leads? Am I dreaming?)
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 large local egg
- 2 large local egg whites, room temperature
- 4 quarts water
- 1/4 cup (65g) baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
How you can do it:
- Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, starches, sugar, yeast, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add the oil, water, egg and egg white and stir until dough forms. If the dough seems too dry, consider adding water by the tablespoonful.
- Knead the dough until smooth, then transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise for at least 45 minutes and up to 90 minutes (It’s summer here so I set it in the sun. I felt like a lady in the movies baking a pie.)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C/200°C fan/Gas mark 7. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide it into 8 roughly equal pieces. Shape into rounds and place them on the prepped pans. I did half in pretzel type shapes for fun.
- Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the baking soda and sugar to the boiling water and wait for the foam to subside.
- Drop the pretzel buns one at a time into the water, and boil them until they float to the surface.
- Return to the pans to bake until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes.
- Allow the buns to cool on the pans for 10 minutes before moving and slicing in half.
This is an exciting twist (pun intended) on buns that you could use for burgers, sandwiches, breakfasts, dinner rolls, and more. The recipe can also be adapted to form a unique pizza crust – which you will see featured before too long.
Don’t forget: if you make this recipe, please share pictures and use #cornbreadpretzelbuns and #CookingWithMummaAlsum. I would love to hear from you!