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Corn flour is a pantry staple, at least, it is for bakers and for those who love making sauces. It is a fine powder made by grinding dried whole corn kernels. It is considered whole grain flour because it contains the corn’s hull, germ and endosperm. Corn flour is different from corn meal.

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The latter is coarsely ground and has a gritty texture while the former is finely ground and has a smooth texture. Corn flour is also different from cornstarch for while the latter squeaks when it’s rubbed between the fingers and is almost 100℅ starch, the former has a smooth texture and is rich in protein, starch, fibre and a small amount of fat.

For most of us, corn flour is just a dry ingredient used in baking. We don’t know what it does to baked goods or if it has any use besides baking. The purpose of this article is to enlighten us. Thus, if you do not know how to utilize this ingredient, know yea that corn flour can be used:

1. As a Thickener:

In Nigeria, there are preferred thickeners for different liquid based foods. This, however, does not mean that one thickener cannot be substituted for another. Corn flour, for instance, is the choice thickener for sauces and gravies. But I have used it on occasion to thicken my bitter leaf soup when the cocoyam bought for the purpose failed to complete its assignment. When corn flour is used as a thickener, its starch molecules work to absorb water and thicken the mixture till the desired consistency is achieved.

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2. To Prevent Cookies from Spreading in the Oven:
I learned about this recently. Adding corn flour to your dry Ingredients is one magic trick that can prevent your cookies from spreading in the oven. You can start by adding a tablespoon of corn flour per cup of flour. You can check the texture and consistency of your dough and make adjustment as needed.
3. In Baking:

Corn flour is extremely versatile. It has an earthy flavour that you can easily incorporate into baked goods like bread, biscuits, waffles. When it is added to cake, cookies and short bread recipes, it gives them that tender crumbly texture that we all love. That’s because when corn flour is combined with another flour, it helps soften the rigid proteins in the flour resulting in a lighter, chewy dessert.

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4. For Coating Fried Foods:
If you are a lover of crispy fries, then pay attention. Use corn flour to lightly coat your chicken, fish and other dishes before frying them. It will create a crispier coating, one that holds up better against sauces and absorbs less oil during frying. It must, however, be emphasized that corn flour must be used lightly to coat fried food. If it is applied with a heavy hand, the coating would be gummy instead of crunchy after frying. The aim of using it would be thus defeated.
5. As an Anti- Caking Agent:

Homemade powdered sugar is made with two ingredients, corn flour and granulated sugar? Do you know the job of corn flour is finely ground food like sugar? It’s to prevent lumps. Corn flour prevents moisture and condensation from reaching whatever it’s mixed with. You gerrit, lol?

In conclusion, corn flour is a versatile ingredient. So, go ahead and put it to good use.


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This article was first published on 29th June 2022


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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