The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Home-milled porridge?

kolobezka's picture

Home-milled porridge?

I got a Komo mill from my friend 3 week ago. It's great! The smell of fresh flour is awesome :)

It works very well for bread making and I'm now wondering how it could be used to make regular morning cereal. In Germany a "FrischKornBrei" is quite popular but the grain (ground into coarse flour) is not cooked, only soaked with cold water, so I'm not sure if it is really well digestible.

So far I've made my porridge with oat flakes processed by a special technology (slow cooking, then drying. So instant but not really instant as most commercial brands). As we prefer creamier texture I soak these in the evening with a pinch of sprouted flour and heated in water buth for a couple of minutes in the morning (directly in the bowl to avoid cleaning the pot)

There are some points I consider important:
- very good digestibility (but only phytic acid as such is not an issue here)
- any photos how coarse / fine the ground grains should be?
- are raw freshly ground grains fine for human nutrition (as in the Frischkornbrei mentioned above)?
- what is the minimal cooking time?
- would water-bath be enough to cook it properly?
- any experience with using other freshly ground grains (spelt, rice, millet, barley, wheat...) or their mixture for porridge?
- do you think adding a pinch of sprouted flour for soaking would help the digestibility and bioavailability (e.i. a sort of amasake)? 



gary.turner's picture

Non-instant grain (e.g. wheat, corn, oat, rice, etc.) porridges take pretty much 20 to 30 minutes simmering. Take care that if you're vegetarian and corn is your staple grain be sure to convert it to hominy as corn's niacin is not bio-available without steeping in hot lye or lime water. Keep sprouted (malted) grains to a small proportion as sprouting converts complex carbs to simple sugars, and soaking lets the amylase enzymes convert even more.

Legume porridges take upwards of 2 hours simmering. Before someone says porridge isn't made from beans, consider that the old nursery rhyme, "Pease porridge hot, …" refers to peas.

If ground, grains are about the consistency of sand, somewhat finer than coarse builder's sand. For oats and rye, I prefer rolled rather than ground.

Few grains or legumes are human digestible without cooking to denature them. That's right, they need to be chemically treated.



clazar123's picture

I'm not sure where you are located. In the US we have all kinds of hot cereal available from all different grains-cream of wheat,rice,corn (called polenta in Italy) or grits in the US and of course oatmeal and steel cut oats (oat groats). I'm not sure why "cream of" except  to make it appealing-it is usually made with water,salt and the cereal. Bulgur wheat is available as a additive to any food or cereal if you want to boost the fiber and nutrtion or just make it into a tabboouleh.It can also be a freestanding cereal-sweet or savory- and either soaked in water for a slightly crunchy texture or cooked in boiling water for a soft texture. Mideastern cereals dishes such as upuma (not sure of spelling) are made with coarsely ground wheat and is quite delicious and nutritious.

 Of course there are some well processed varieties of cereal/grain to make them quick cooking but organic and non-processed is also available. You can grind your own and experiment with how long it takes to either soak or cook. The Frischkornbrei  I've searched on sounds like it takes 5-10 hours, depending on how soft you like it. Regular (not quick) hot cream of wheat,corn,rice or flaked oatmeal is genereally a 3-1 or 4-1 ratio of liquid to cereal and takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes to cook, depending on the size of the grains.

Have some delicious fun and experiment.

kolobezka's picture

what exactly the cream of wheat (rice etc.) looks like. According to the photos on internet it could be something similar to semolina consistency?

So should the home milled grains prepared exactly the same way as their commercial counterparts, e.g. bulgur, steel-cut oats...? Is the industrial technology the same?

My digestion is quite fragile and wouldn't cope with many unsuccessful experiments - that's why I prefer to ask first. I'm still not sure that just soaking is enough. And I'm also looking for a cooking technique to avoid cleaning the pot from the sticky oats - I always prepare only one portion of morning cereal. That's why the water-bath cooking question.

kolobezka's picture

I've just found this to make bulgur: "Bring to a boil one part rinsed whole wheat berries plus two parts water or other liquid, then simmer the berries are tender (about one hour). Spread the berries on a cookie sheet and bake in a 225° F oven, stirring occasionally, until dry (about one hour). Grind."

Yes, that would make it cook quite fast. But that's different from home wheat grits, isn't it?

charbono's picture

The problem with using a grinder to make porridge cereal is that one ends up with a portion of flour, even on a coarse setting.  Unless a mushy porridge is wanted, separating the flour with a sieve is necessary. 

Even though I prefer coarse-ground (Scottish) oats, I ended up tempering the oats and using an oat roller to avoid accumulating flour. 

plevee's picture

Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal is stone ground oats. It is a mixture of a slightly coarse meal and oat flour, as you would expect, and makes the most delicious creamy porridge. I soak it 1:3 in hot water & leave it overnight, or just for an hour or two while I walk the dogs, then bring to a boil and cook for 5-10 mins.

BRM also sells steel cut oats which are much coarser & need more cooking. The ground oats are much closer to authentic Scots pinhead oats used for porridge and make better oatcakes as well.

kolobezka's picture

for your the BRM reference and your directions how to cook it. I quite like the warm overnight idea.

kolobezka's picture

I might buy one later but first I'd like to see the result with just Komo mill.

What do you mean by "tempering" the oats?

charbono's picture

Tempering means adding a little water to the grain and allowing time for it to soak in.

I add about 8% water to my groats, stirring several times, a few hours before rolling.  The tempered groats are less brittle.  The resulting flakes are larger and little flour is produced.

Tempering of grain to be ground also done.  The bran separates in larger pieces, making it easier to be sieved out.

kolobezka's picture

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I thought the grain for milling has to be completely dry! Do you temper the oats only before milling it for breakfast cereal?

Does it apply only for oats or for other grains as well?