Sure, you can just go buy a box of corn flakes at just about any grocery store, but what’s the fun in that? We’re celebrating National Cereal Day (March 7th) by trying our hand at making this breakfast staple at home. Turns out it’s easier than one might think and has a couple of advantages I hadn’t considered.
In basic form, corn flakes don’t contain much more than ground corn, perhaps lightly flavored with salt and a sweetener like sugar or honey. The store-bought stuff probably started that way, but at some point the big brands began to add other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, barley malt and other flavorings. Probably not a big deal for most, but that barley malt should catch the eye of those with gluten sensitivity; it knocks those brands off the menu for those living a gluten-free lifestyle. There are brands specifically formulated to be gluten-free, but watch the labels.
Our homemade corn flakes recipe sticks to the basics. Active prep time is just a few minutes and the simple recipe can be altered to use maple syrup, agave or other natural sweeteners to appeal to any taste. If you are planning to use your corn flakes in savory recipes, such as a coating for fried chicken, try adding seasonings to the dough for the corn flakes for a flavor boost that only comes from going homemade.
The yield for this recipe is just two or three bowls of cereal, but can be scaled up, if desired. It’s National Cereal Day. Treat yo’ self. Besides, how many people do you know who can say they’ve made their own corn flakes?
Homemade corn flakes are surprisingly simple to make with just a few ingredients. Make your own corn flakes at home using cornmeal, water, oil, salt and honey.
Combine 1 ½ cups of cornmeal, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and a teaspoon of salt in a food processor.
Combine ½ cup of hot water and ¼ cup of honey and stir to dissolve honey. For a change of flavor, maple syrup or molasses may be used instead of honey.
Add water/honey to cornmeal and process to create a wet dough. The dough should just hold together when pinched. If dough doesn’t hold, add more water a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Press dough into a ball and place between two sheets of parchment paper on a half sheet baking pan. Use a rolling pin or a glass to roll dough flat on pan. The dough should take up most of the baking pan at a thickness of an ⅛ inch or thinner. This is crucial.
Remove the top layer of parchment paper. Dough should be evenly rolled and very thin. The thinner the better! Thin flakes will be light and crisp when baked, but rolled too thick, the consistency will be more like that of a hard cracker (and not in a good way). Don’t worry if cracks appear in the dough when rolled out, it’ll be broken into flakes once it has been baked anyway.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 35 minutes or until dough is lightly browned and has begun to break apart. This time will vary a little depending on how thin the dough has been rolled.
Allow to cool completely and break apart into spoon-friendly flakes.
We’ve got corn flakes! Store in a Ziploc bag or any airtight container. The yield of this recipe is two or three bowls of cereal, but takes just a few minutes of active prep time to make. These homemade flakes are cheap, easy and don’t have high fructose corn syrup or any of the other additives found in many commercial brands. Sure, you could still just go buy a box of cereal, but what’s the fun in that? Happy cereal day!