What is the difference between corn flour and corn starch ?
- 8 years agoFavourite answer
A powdery flour made of finely ground cornmeal, NOT to be confused with cornstarch. The exception is in British and Australian recipes where the term "cornflour" is used synonymously with the U.S. word cornstarch. Corn flour comes in yellow and white and is used for breading and in combination with other flours in baked goods. Corn flour is milled from the whole kernel, while cornstarch is obtained from the endosperm portion of the kernel. Masa Harina is a special corn flour that is the basic ingredient for corn tortillas. White corn flour blends well with other food ingredients and can be blended with wheat flour to reduce gluten for cakes, cookies, pastries and crackers. White corn flour is used as a filler, binder and thickener in cookie, pastry and meat industries.
Season: available year-round
Substitutions: cornmeal pulverized in a food processor or rice flour
Cornstarch is a fine, powdery starch that is made out of corn. The cornstarch is actually made from the endosperm of the corn, which makes up most of the kernels that we eat when enjoying popcorn or corn on the cob. Cornstarch, also sometimes called cornflour, is produced by grinding, washing and drying the endosperm of the corn until it reaches that fine, powdery state. Cornstarch is gluten free.
Cornstarch has many culinary uses, but it is most often used as a thickener for sauces, gravies and fruit pie fillings. Cornstarch thickens very quickly and easily, and forms a clear sauce after cooking, rather than an opaque one. It has roughly twice the thickening power of flour, and while it is flavorless after cooking, it does need to be cooked for a short period to remove any starchy flavor from the starch, as well as to give the mixture it is used in a chance to thicken. Unlike flour, cornstarch will clump up if added directly to hot liquids and must be mixed with a small amount of color liquid before being incorporated into something hot, such as a gravy or a pudding. It if is added to a cold mixture, it does not need to be prepared in any way before cooking and will dissolve as the mixture heats up. If cooked for an extended period of time, or whisked too vigorously, a mixture thickened with cornstarch can break. Arrowroot and tapioca are both good substitutes for cornstarch when it comes to thickening power.
Cornstarch is also included in many baked good recipes, and is often used in conjunction with flour. Since it is gluten free, cornstarch can help add some structure to a baked good while increasing its tenderness. It appears very often in shortbread recipes, where bakers are looking for a very crumbly and tender texture in the finished product. Another common way of using it is adding a small amount of it to all purpose flour to make a substitute for cake flour. You will also often see it included in batters, where it helps contribute to a light crust after frying.
- GW IILv 48 years ago
In the US, what we call corn flour is ground dried corn, while corn starch is only the starch of the corn ground up. In the UK and some other places, the terms corn meal and corn flour are used.
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- MaureenLv 44 years ago
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I agree that cornstarch and corn flour are the same thing. It's just that in the U.S. we call the flour made from corn "cornstarch," where it's called "corn flour" in the U.K. In the U.S., we've also gotten used to calling the flour made from wheat just plain old "flour," so somehow we decided to use cornstarch instead of corn flour here to make it sound different, or perhaps because for one way it was used here in the beginning, it was called that? Or "flour" could just as easily been called wheat flour or wheat starch. "Corn meal" and "masa" are somewhat different from cornstarch/corn flour though. Corn meal (and polenta/etc) just haven't been ground long enough to turn them into a flour. Masa flours (for tortillas and for tamales) have been processed before grinding so that their vitamins will be more easily available to the body. There are different types of "corn" too (field corn, sweet corn, etc) used for those final results.
- Anonymous8 years ago
If it is as fine textured as confectioners sugar, it is cornstarch. If it's grainy it is cornmeal. If it's inbetween and looks like yellow flour, it is cornmeal for pastry (I don't think that has a particular name) Cornstarch and corn flour are the same thing, they call it corn flour in the UK...not sure what you have on that score.
- cymry3jonesLv 78 years ago
- Anonymous8 years ago
There are not too many different between the two.
- 8 years ago
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