Grain by grain healthy enjoyment
When the smell of freshly baked bread or cake flows from the kitchen, all family members feel irresistibly attracted. Handwarm from the oven taste baked goods simply best. If you use even self-ground flour, the treat is perfect. With grain mills for your home, wheat, spelled, rye & co., turn out the full aroma as well as all vitamins and minerals. Nuts, oil seeds or hard cheese can also be crushed with a hand or electric grinder. In this advice, you can read about the types of grain mills and the equipment you should look out for.
Milling according to old tradition: fresh and healthy
Previously, a handmill belonged to the fixed inventory in every kitchen. From the coffee bean to the cereal grain, the grandmother grinded many fresh ingredients, which are now ready from the bag. In times of convenience products and ready-to-serve meals, the old kitchen utensils from most households disappeared. Only the trend towards organic and whole-food has strengthened the quality consciousness for food and helped the grain mill to come back.
Freshly ground grains not only offer a better taste experience, but are also healthier than packaged flour. The nutrient content of the grain remains fully preserved and does not fade with every day of storage. By using the full grain with all edge layers, self-ground flour contains more fiber, vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids as well as iron, calcium and magnesium. The same applies to nuts and oil seeds such as poppy, sesame or linseed: crushed they taste better and are more vital.
The cereal, which is so popular in the whole food, is unthinkable without a cereal mill or flaker. Only with these devices can fresh corn and cereal flakes conjure into the bowl. And last but not least, allergy sufferers benefit from their own mill. In contrast to purchased products, a contamination of the flour with gluten is excluded.
More than flour: That can handmills do
Grain mills not only provide the main ingredients for bread, rolls and sweet pastry: In addition to fine flour, meal or bran, it is also possible to produce millbase from oilseeds, rice, spices, pseudo-cereals such as buckwheat or amaranth as well as legumes. However, not every grain mill is suitable for crushing oily food. Stone mills smear and are then no longer functional. If the grinder is made of natural stone, it is unsuitable for ground material with high moisture content as well as very hard grains and seeds. Therefore, only a few mills with a natural stone grind. If you want to process mainly oil seeds, a special poppy mill is the best choice. An almond mill is perfect to grind ingredients. The sharp blades of the cutting drum crush nuts, chocolate or hard cheese in the desired degree of grinding and in comparison to grating as well as planing without great effort and risk of injury.
Designs and functions of grain mills
Cereal grinders/ grain mills for household use are basically available as stand-alone appliances or as an attachment for kitchen machines. Some high-performance mixers are also suitable for occasional grinding. If none of these devices are in the house, you can choose between the following models when purchasing a grain mill:
Hand grain mills
If you only need fresh flour every now and then, or if you just want some grain for your daily fresh corn, a corn mill with crank drive is enough. However, in the case of frequent use and large quantities, the manual grinding process becomes a fast-acting matter. Think carefully, for how much and how often you want to use your grain mill. So some supposedly inexpensive hand-held foodstuffs prove ultimately as expensive faulty purchase, because their use is simply too uncomfortable and time-consuming.
Electric grain mills
You can grind without any trouble with electric grain mill. The appliances produce the finest flour for bread and cakes in the shortest possible time, as well as for many dishes of the whole-value kitchen. Thus the meal for the green kernels is just as freshly available as the semolina for the whole grain noodles. However, you always need an outlet nearby.
Fans of cereal who want to enjoy their cereal flakes quite fresh, need a grain flaker. This function is available as a single piece of cereal flakes – or you can choose a combi grinder that can grind as well as flakes. Both versions are available for manual operation or electrically.
The material question
A grain mill of wood is beautiful to look at and robust. Beech, alder, and lime tree have stood for years for the forces which are released during grinding. This also applies to mills and kitchen tops made of stainless steel and all-metal, whose metal funnel is virtually indestructible. Plastic is not quite as durable and visually less pleasing, but it is very cost-effective. In combination with a high-quality grinder, mills made of this material are unbeatable in price-performance ratio.
Grinder, engine and equipment details
The grinder is the heart of every grain mill and the most important criterion for buying. Whoever makes the wrong choice here has no joy in his new acquisition from the outset. Also the engine power and the other technical equipment should meet the own requirements, in order to avoid a defect purchase.
Stone or steel mill
Mills of steel are the generalists, equipment with stone grinding the specialists. The latter produce finest flour and are the first choice for hobby bakers who need such a consistency for cakes, biscuits and pastries. They are only suitable for grinding small amounts of oil seeds and only in combination with grain. Stone grinders are self-sharpening and long-lasting. If they are made of magnesia- tion as in most hand-held mills, they reach their limits in maize. Larger grinders made from this material and grinders made from the more expensive material of corundum ceramics also cope with this degree of hardness.
Steel grinders actually crush everything, from spelled grains to spices to sunflower seeds. The degree of grinding ranges from coarse to medium fine. For bread this is always sufficient, for confectionery such as cakes only conditionally. In terms of service life, you can not count on several decades as in a good stone mill. For this purpose, worn steel cones and discs can be easily exchanged.
In the case of electric grinders, the power of the motor decides whether or not the appliance also kicks hard chickpeas, rice and amaranth. At least 360 watts of engine power should be if you regularly need flour from these ingredients. In the case of grain: the stronger the motor, the faster the mill grinds. With 300 watts, about 100 g of flour can be produced per minute.
The capacity of the funnel should not be too small. In the case of small hand mills, only 150 g can be partially filled – this may be sufficient for occasional use, it is not enough for regular use. At least 600 g of material to be ground should be inserted at a time, in particular, in order to allow a comfortable grinding process.
Electric mills cause noise, which is usually around 70 to 75 decibels (dB). This corresponds to the volume of a TV or traffic noise. If you use the mill in the morning, the neighbors can be quite disturbing. So better close the windows.
Operation with one hand
A solid stand is especially important for handmills, so you can devote yourself entirely to the craning and filling of the grinding material and can operate the unit with one hand. A suction cup on the device foot or a screw clamp should ensure this. Please remember that the mill must be removed after each use. This is impractical for fast grinding between – for example, from a little rice to sauce binding – in the long run.
With the right accessories some mills can be upgraded to a universal kitchen aid. We present the most important utensils.
To change the grinder
Interchangeable grinding blocks and chambers expand the application spectrum of your grain mill. After the grinding process, spices and coffee can also be comminuted. Allergies in the family come after the change to the gluten-free flour.
Bit on top
A sieve attachment allows the production of particularly fine wholemeal flour. It is simply placed on the mill instead of the funnel and frees the flour automatically from bran residues. For mill feeders with system drive there are different attachments, which make from the device a juice press, a meat wolf or a vegetable cutter.
For the storage of grain, solid containers made of wood or glass are most suitable. In contrast to bags or cotton sacks, these vessels can be closed more tightly. In a grain store also no residues remain in cloth folds – moths like to settle themselves in such residues. The grains remain fresh and are protected against pest infestations.
This is how you clean your grain mill
When used properly, cereal grinders are very easy to maintain. If only hard cereal cultivars are ground, only flour dust will fall. This can be easily removed with a vacuum cleaner from the funnel and mixing outlet. A little more cleaning costs arise after the crushing of oil seeds as well as soft oat and barley grains in the finest grade. To remove grease from the steel grinder, grind some dry grain in coarse mode. If this is not sufficient, disassemble the unit and clean the components by hand.
Conclusion: Practical helpers for the fine and healthy cuisine
Grain mills are indispensable for gourmets, health-conscious hobby bakers and whole-value cooks. Flour, oilseeds and spices, when they are milled themselves, exceed many times in terms of flavor and vitality. Hand-operated mills are already available for under $100, special mills for oilseeds and nuts from $30.
For more frequent use, manual mills are quickly impractical. Grinding is too laborious and time-consuming, so that the devices soon dust in a corner. Mills for kitchens are a not much more expensive alternative. Something more you have to invest in electric grain grinders in the stand-alone version. At prices between $150 and over $300 you get allrounders and fine mills in solid quality.
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