Broa de Milho is a Portuguese bread made with corn flour. The corn flour 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 breads using corn flour 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.
Broa de Milho is mentioned on Ark of Taste as region specific and a recipe worth of 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 corn flour 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 a 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||66.7%|
|100g||sourdough starter (100% hydration)||22.2%|
The corn flour is the key
The bread looks beautiful, but the corn flour also gives the bread and pleasant 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 the crumb is very tight with tiny air bubbles.
It tastes like absolute perfection with a good organic butter or some delicious olives. It’s also a 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
- 300 gram whole-grain corn flour or stone-ground cornmeal
- 100 gram bread flour
- 300 gram water
- 8 gram fine salt
- 100 gram ripe sourdough starter
- Rice flour to sprinkle on the bread Or use wheat flour
- Put the corn flour in a heat-proof bowl
- Boil water in an electric boiler
- Pour the water over the corn flour and stir until all the flour has been hydrated. Let it cool to room temperature. About one hour
- Add bread flour, salt, sourdough starter and knead the dough by hand until it forms a bread dough
- Form the dough to 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 dish cloth. At least 3.5 hours, but you can leave it until the next morning if you wish
- Heat the oven to 260°C/500°F. If it doesn’t go as high, go as far as you can. If you have a baking steel or pizza stone, you should use that. Heat for an hour so you are sure the baking steel is completely saturated with heat
- Bake the first 20 minutes on 260°C/500°F, then turn it down to 230°C/445°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 completely on a wire rack. It takes a couple of hours
- Enjoy a piece with butter and a great piece of cheese or some fantastic olives
- It’s that easy to make Broa de Milho
I am crazy about food, cakes, snacks and everything in between. I love to do tons of experiments to find the best recipe, so that you don’t have to.