The Mother Corn and the Barton Springs Mill
“Grass thus became as milk to the creatures of the animal kingdom, and the corn became the milk for mankind.” — Book of the Hopi
I wanted to learn more about Barton Springs Mill flours for a long time. Two weeks ago, I finally had a free Saturday to attend the Heritage Grains + Sourdough Breads Workshop by James A. Brown and Sandeep Gyawali. Well, first of all, I am back to baking bread at home because finally, with the heirloom wheat flours I can make a bread I am craving for because it is dangerously delicious. Secondly, BSM makes heirloom blue, red, and green corn I wanted to play with since Book of the Hopi. Almost a decade ago, the chapter about the Corn Mother totally fascinated me. Blue corn was not widely known back then. The only way to get it was by ordering it from the tribe farmers. I milled nixtamalize corn kernels myself to make traditional thin rolls of blue corn Hopi bread. It was fun! I asked James for a favor, and he kindly made a few pounds of finely milled corn flours for me to try making tortillas.
Green corn tortillas were not striking green when cooked, but they were the best-tasting tortillas I made so far. And I now have a few ideas for corn breads featuring Hopi Blue, Bloody Butcher Red, and of course Oaxacan Green (not available online) corn flours.
About Oaxacan Green Corn
Gardeners plant dent corn primarily to dry-mill. The Zapotec of southern Mexico, to whom this corn is attributed, would have grown this corn to create green flour for their tamales. The cob is heavy and round with hues of emerald green, lime, and chartreuse kernels. This variety entered the U.S. seed trade during the 1980s.
About the Recipe Origin
I started with Nopi’s soufflé corn cakes recipe and … changed it to make them greener and gluten-free. I also walked away from the Mediterranian flavors. Oaxacan Green corn flour, miso-glazed shishito peppers, and Roth’s Moody Blue (American smoked blue cheese) made a wonderful contribution to a complex flavor and color of the cakes.