Cornflour makes a fantastic kitchen staple and has so many uses. It is actually quite a versatile ingredient that can be used as a thickening agent (thanks to its fine texture and because it is flavourless). If you have been wondering how to use cornflour then this post will be useful to you.
What is cornflour and how to use cornflour
Cornflour is a substance made from ground maize kernels or whole grain corn, which can be further processed into various food products. Cornflour has many uses because it is a white starch-based powder with a neutral taste and odour.
It is sometimes used in the preparation of other flours, and can also be used as a thickening agent.
Cornflour is made by grinding maize kernels or whole-grain corn and then using an extraction process to remove the starch.
The starch granules are then separated from the main kernel, which produces a powder.
Cornflour can be used to thicken sauces, as an egg substitute in cooking, and as a substitute for some flours.
Is cornflour gluten-free?
Cornflour is made from maize (corn) and therefore it does not contain gluten.
This means that in some recipes you can replace flour with cornflour.
It is best to research the recipes first as you usually cannot just make a like-for-like substitution.
You can make gluten-free Yorkshire puddings using cornflour.
How to use cornflour
If you want to use cornflour to thicken a sauce, stew or non-clear soup (cornflour is cloudy so it isn’t advised to use it in clear soups) then you might just throw a spoonful into your cooking, which isn’t the correct way.
To use cornflour you need to blend 1 teaspoon of cornflour with 2 teaspoons of cold water. Mix it into a smooth paste, remove your dish from the heat and add in the blended mixture.
Replace your dish on the heat and continue to stir until it thickens.
If you haven’t achieved your desired level of thickness the first time round then you can repeat this process until you get the consistency that you want.
If you add too much cornflour then you can use water to loosen the dish.
Is cornstarch cornflour?
When you search the internet for recipes you might come across some recipes needing cornstarch, and you might be wondering ‘is cornstarch cornflour?’.
The answer is that yes, cornflour is known as cornstarch in America.
So now when you see cornstarch in a recipe you know that you can use cornflour instead of spending hours traipsing around supermarkets looking for cornstarch.
If you don’t have any to hand then you might be looking for substitutes for cornflour.
Depending on what you are trying to make and dietary requirements, you can substitute cornflour with the following ingredients:
- Rice flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Plain flour
- Self-raising flour
- Tapioca flour
- Rice, potato or tapioca starch
How to make cornflour
Whilst it is easy to pick up cornflour in supermarkets, bargain shops and even online you might still be wondering how to make cornflour.
The process of making your own cornflour is quite long and uses a lot of ingredients, but if you still want to give it a go you can see how to here.
How to store cornflour
Keep your cornflour in a cool, dry and dark place.