The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flax

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andychrist's picture
andychrist

Flax

Anybody know, what is the best way to process flax seed into a flour or meal, so that it doesn't turn into a gooey paste? For nutritional purposes I like to add linseed to my breads but doubt they are completely digestible in whole form.  Would a grain mill be necessary to grind them down, or would a food processor or blender work okay on Pulse? Any other quick and easy methods? Thanks.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I keep flax seeds in the freezer. Whenever I need ground flax, I just throw them in the Krup's coffee grinder for a few pulses. Never any "goo". I don't think the seeds being frozen had any bearing though.

mini_maggie's picture
mini_maggie

I use an el-cheapo blade coffee grinder that became surplus when I got a better burr grinder for coffee.  Quick, easy cleanup and no gooey paste.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Coffee grinder, great idea. Wonder if that would work for sesame too, without ending up with tahini. Bet it would work great for caraway. Are poppy seeds too fine to begin with to grind that way too? They also tend to make paste.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Poppy seeds and spices are the only things my Cuisinart coffee grinder does grind well -  we were just about trashing it for its poor performance with coffee beans, when I discovered it was the perfect poppy mill.

Karin

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

I use golden linseeds when I make Gluten-Free loaves and for that they are warmed up slightly before being added to the mix specifically to produce that "goo" you mention. The goo is therefore a part of their make-up and since you're going to bake with them they're surely going to go gooey once they get warm. I'm not sure grinding them will prevent that unless you then separate out whichever seed element creates the goo ! Because of that gooey nature I would never put linseeds through my grain mill for fear of them gunking up the stones which might happen as the stones warmed.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

you could also buy flaxseed meal.  Put it in the freezer between uses and you won't have to worry about it going rancid.

Paul

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Flax meal might be the easiest solution, but I don't have any more room left in my freezer for its storage. Besides, the local health food store sells bulk seed for a fraction of the price of the milled. And I also like to sprinkle some whole seeds over my freshly risen loaves to keep them from sticking to the pan so it's good to have them on hand anyway.  Those golden flax seeds look great against a dark crust.

The fresh meal is easily incorporated into the flour, so it mixes into the dough no muss no fuss.  The oils which would otherwise form a goo get absorbed evenly.  Luckily for me the new cloverleaf glass pitcher I just got for my old Osterizer works well in grinding small amounts of flax at a time, as long as I'm careful to pulse. Only takes a couple of tablespoonfuls to enrich my three cup recipe, not as difficult a procedure as with a gluten free bread. Yeah I'd hesitate to run flax or any oil seed through a mill unless I were prepared to do some major cleaning thereafter!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and usually grind them with some white and black sesame seeds - and then toss in some poppy seeds and freeze them in a 4 oz container.  Then I can decide if I want to toss them into the regular toasted Toady mix of various; grain bran, sifted middlings and wheat germ.  Either way they make a fine bread flavor enhancer in small amounts and its own flavor profile in larger ones. 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Just watched the first 5 hits I picked doing a video search(grind flax seed) on youtube.com. Most used typical coffee mill type grinders but blenders, etc., were also used.

Not a single mention of even the possibility of goo yet.

I think you will have to be really inattentive to the task at hand, or actually trying, to get to the "goo" phase.

I find grinding my on to be considerably better than buying pre-ground, for several reasons- No.1 being cost. Whole flax can be considerably less expensive.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Yeah, like I said, the whole seed is a fraction of the cost of the meal and keeps better too.

Grinds pretty easily, only problem is the hulls do stay rather splintery for a long time while being processed. Pretty sure everything really would turn to goo if I kept blending until all the fluff disappeared. Instead I just pulse until there are no whole seeds visible — the other whole grains in what ever bread I'm going to bake will disguise the flax fibers.

Now I've got to order some poppy and black sesame. 

Thanks everyone for all the great ideas!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

What sort of grinder are you using?