Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posted by terrepruitt on January 25, 2017

I was trying to think of something to make for dinner with the limited meat that we had in the house.  We have BEEF, but I haven’t gone there yet.  I need to figure out how to cook the beef that we have, but I was not interested in figuring that out at that time.  So I was trying to find something to cook that didn’t require much meat (we had a leftover pork chop) or any meat.  I remembered that my husband liked the flatbread I made once, so I decided to make it.  We had ricotta, I would put that on top, chop up the pork chop and put it on top, then add a sprinkle of mozzarella.  Well, as I was making the flatbread and I said to myself, “one tablespoon cornmeal” it dawned on me that I wasn’t using cornMEAL, I was using cornSTARCH.  That is probably why the flatbread turned out so dense.  I decided to continue since when I had made it last time, my hubby liked it.  And it works, it just probably has a different consistency than if I used actual cornMEAL.

So this isn’t really a recipe post (well not a NEW recipe) it is me just admitting and explaining the substitution.  It works fine.  And the pork chopped up and spread on it with a little mozzarella on top of that was really good.  The flat bread is very dense, that is why I ended up calling it Flat-Biscuit-Shortbread.  One of these days I might think to buy cornMEAL and make the recipe as per the real ingredients!

The information on the internet about the difference between cornstarch and cornmeal is not very detailed.  They are obviously both made from corn, but one (cornstarch) is made from grinding just the endosperm of the kernel into a fine powder.  The other (cornmeal) is made from grinding the whole kernel.  Cornmeal is not ground as fine as corn flour.  Yet, Wiki does go on to say that the most common cornmeal in the United States “has the husk and germ of the maize kernel almost completely removed”.

Cornstarch is usually used for thickening sauces and it does not have the strong corn flavor that cornmeal has.  Could be because it is not the whole kernel.  I am familiar with cornmeal being used in batters to coat things, like corndogs.  And used for things like cornbread.  There are many, many, many uses for it, but as you might have guessed, since I don’t have any, I don’t use it.

I am making a note of the recipe below so that I know how to do it with the cornSTARCH and the less oil . . . . I forgot that this last time, but I added a lot more flavor to it:


Flat-Biscuit-Shortbread  (the way I want to have it available to make)

• 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon basil
• 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitCombine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, garlic powder, basil, and garlic salt in a bowl.  Stir until ingredients are well mixed.  Add olive oil and water mixing until all the ingredients are incorporated and it forms a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball or a log – something to get you started into the final shape you want.  Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper large enough to fit the pan you are going to bake it on.  Then roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick in the shape you want. Lift the parchment paper with the dough on it and place it on your baking sheet.

Bake it in the oven at 400° F for 12 minutes until the edges start to turn brown.

Suggested topping instructions:

Remove the flat-biscuit-shortbread and top with ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of salt.  Then place back in the oven for three minutes.

Then top it with whatever else you want.  I once used Leeks and Mushrooms.  Another time I used pork.


What about you?  Do you use cornmeal?  Do you use cornstarch?

2 Responses to “CornSTARCH Is Not CornMEAL”

  1. pegbur7 said

    My mom makes this awesome cornbread made with corn MEAL called Charlie Bread. One day she was making it and grabbed flour off the shelf instead of cornmeal (the pics on the front are almost the same). She didn’t realized it until it was all mixed up and the consistency was weird. We told her to go ahead and make it anyway and it wasn’t as good as the Charlie Bread (it was denser) so we called it Charlotte Bread. LOL All was not lost but we have not ventured to try it again on PURPOSE. Glad you were able to salvage it!


    • A lot of information on the internet states if you don’t have corn flour just grind up/process the cornmeal more. But wheat flour and corn flour are different. But I love that your family just named it something else and now you have two breads — once you actually do it again on purpose – that you can enjoy! Sometimes our cooking “mistakes” lead to some great things.

      LOVE seeing you hear, Peggy! Happy New Year! XO


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