Grinding Your Own Breakfast Cereal
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I picked up a Back to Basics manual grain mill at a garage sale a few years ago that someone had bought as preparation for the year 2000. It was new in the box and cost me $5. I took it home, put it on a shelf in my pantry, and forgot about it.
I remembered the little grain mill while in my favorite bulk food store. I picked up a bag of wheat berries and thought, “I’ve got a grain mill I’ve never tried out!” I bought a bag of wheat, took it home, put it on a shelf in my pantry, and forgot about it!
I was sitting in my recliner with my breakfast coffee and a boring bowl of cold cereal and thought “Wouldn’t a bowl of hot cereal other than oatmeal or Coco Wheats be a nice change? “
And then I remembered! I got the grain mill out, retrieved the bag of wheat from the pantry, and started experimenting.
I found that I could get several grinds from the very simple mill depending on how tightly I screwed down the handle. I can make cracked wheat for bread, a finer grind for farina breakfast cereal, or a border-line coarse flour for whole wheat bread (it took a while to grind enough flour for bread with the little mill).
I’m usually not a fan of plain farina or “Cream of Wheat” hot cereal, but I found that the fresh wheat made a superior product to what I have bought from the grocery store. I added cinnamon to one batch and it smelled and tasted wonderful.
I prepared the cereal by bringing ¾ cup (6 oz.) water with a pinch of salt to a boil and sprinkling three tablespoons of farina into the boiling water while stirring constantly. Then I turned the heat down and continued to stir and cook for one or two minutes until the mixture thickened. I then took the pot off the heat, covered it, and let it sit for a few minutes covered and allowed it to thicken some more. Finally, I transferred the cooked cereal to a warm bowl with brown sugar, a little butter, and milk or half and half.
When properly stored in a cool, dry place, wheat keeps well for a year or more. When it is ground, it has a short shelf life before it begins to go stale (the wheat flour from the store has a stronger taste for this reason) because of the oil in the wheat germ. I freeze what flour or farina I have left over from each grinding for this reason.
If you get really serious about grinding all your own flour, you will probably want to buy a bigger hand or electric mill. For now, I’m just dabbling and will stick with my little one! Begonia
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My Little Grain Mill
I bought this at an post-Y2K garage sale for a $5! Can't wait for the post-2012 garage sales!
Grinding. . . and Grinding. . .
It takes surprisingly little time to grind a supply of breakfast cereal. I read an online review of this little mill in which the users said that they kept it set up on the counter and ground their cereal fresh every morning!
Ready to Make Breakfast
It is important to add the farina gradually and keep stirring.
Turn down the heat and keep stirring as the cereal thickens.
Ready to Eat!
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