As a northern Chinese, I used to eat food made of corn flour a lot in my hometown. I remember my family from time to time made corn flour pancake for dinner or breakfast. And my grandma also used to buy the steamed corn-flour sponge cake to me and my cousin for desserts.
After I’ve left my hometown, I rarely had the opportunity to eat corn flour made buns/ cakes. And I’ve been missing them tons, because it used to be a big part in my life, as well it is an easy and pleasant way to involve more ingredient of coarse grain into my dinning habit.
Fortunately I found the corn flour in an Asian grocery store recently! And the first thing I could think of cooking is the steamed cornbread, aka Wowotou 窝窝头!
Wowotou is a typical cornbread from the North China. Originally it was poor man food, however somehow the Qing Dynasty Empress Cixi liked it, so then Wowotou legendarily turned into a noble dish.
I remembered when I was young and immaturely picky about food, I refused to eat the Wowotou that my grandma made. And in order to convince me, my parents told me:
“You know what, this is a dish that only the Empress could eat in the old days!”
- Corn flour and all purpose wheat flour (1:1)
- Sugar (optional)
- Add the yeast into warm water. When there are bubbles on the surface, it is ready to use.
- Add boiled hot water into the corn flour just to make the flour wet.
- Then add in the all purpose flour and a pinch of salt into the wet corn flour, and mix well (add some sugar if preferred).
- Add the yeast water into the flour mixture, and knead everything into a dough. Add in warm water if necessary.
- Rest the dough for 2 hours for leavening.
- The size of the leavened dough will not be much bigger than original. But you can still see there are “holes” inside the dough.
- Divide the dough into smaller size portions, then form each one into a cone.
Note: Usually we leave a hole at the bottom. This was because traditionally we put some vegetable/ meat inside the hole while eating. Same concept as a sandwich.
- Rest all the buns for another 15 minutes before steaming. Steam for 10 minutes.
If you want to take a break from the everyday flour or rice, and look for recipe with coarse grains, give this one a try. The Wowotou, steamed corn bread, is a good option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snack. More important, it offers a good nutrition balance. 🌽