Broa de Milho is a Portuguese bread made with cornflour. The cornflour makes the bread crackle on the top, as the bread proofs. That makes the bread very beautiful and easy to recognize. This is my recipe for broa de Milho.
The northern part of Portugal is not a very good place to grow wheat, but the climate is fantastic for growing corn. So it makes sense to bake Portuguese bread using cornflour instead of wheat flour. In this recipe, I’ve decided to substitute the traditional buckwheat with regular bread flour. If you do have buckwheat flour available, it is absolutely an option.
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Broa de Milho is mentioned on Ark of Taste as region-specific and a recipe worth preservation. So be part of preserving this fantastic bread and bake it!
You’ll need a sourdough starter to make this bread, so if you don’t have it yet, head over to my guide for making your own sourdough.
The formula in this Broa de Milho recipe
The ratio of cornflour to wheat flour is the magical ratio that makes the bread have holes in the crumb, but still retain the very beautiful crackled surface.
Even though the bread has relatively high hydration (almost 78%) it is a very stiff dough, because of the high amount of whole-grain flour. The dough is very easy to work with and does not require any of the specialized techniques that you need to make sourdough bread.
|300g||whole-grain corn flour||75%|
|100g||starter (100% hydration)||25%|
If you want to change the quantity, the hydration or other things, you can do so here in my Bread Calculator.
The cornflour is the key
The bread looks beautiful, but the cornflour also gives the bread and pleasantly sweet taste and a different crust than you are used to from sourdough bread made with wheat. The crust is nice and crispy and the crumb is very tight with tiny air bubbles.
It tastes like absolute perfection with good organic butter or some delicious olives. It’s also great with a good Portuguese soup like a caldo verde or açorda. The sweetness from the corn also makes it a perfect pairing with a fabulous chili con carne.
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This is my recipe for broa de Milho. I hope you will try it. If you make this recipe and post it on Instagram please tag me with @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That would make me happy.
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Broa de Milho, Portuguese corn bread
- Put the cornflour in a heat-proof bowl.
- Boil water in an electric boiler.
- Pour the water over the cornflour and stir until all the flour is hydrated. Let it cool to room temperature for about one hour.
- Add bread flour, salt, and sourdough starter, and knead the dough by hand until it forms a bread dough.
- Form the dough into a boule and press it down slightly. Make sure the ball has a smooth surface.
- Spray the top of the dough with a water mister and sprinkle with rice flour. Use your hands to spread the flour evenly.
- Let the dough proof on the kitchen counter under a dishcloth. At least 3½ hours, but you can leave it until the following day.
- Heat the oven to 260°C/500°F with a dutch oven inside.
- Bake for 20 minutes with the loaf inside the dutch oven, then take the lid off the dutch oven and turn the oven down to 230°C/450°F.
- Keep baking until the bread is 99°C/210°F inside. It took about 25 minutes in my oven.
- Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. It takes a couple of hours.
- Enjoy a piece with butter and a great selection of cheese or some fantastic olives.