Mastering the Art of Cooking Grains

All grains (except rice)

All grains (except rice) and all grain flours require prolonged cooking with gentle and sustained heat to break down their tissues and convert their starches to dextrins, making them easily digestible. Even so-called "steamed" grains, advertised as being cooked in 5 or 10 minutes, take longer to fully prepare for digestion. These so-called instant grains are simply steamed before milling, which has the effect of killing the lower organisms contained in the grain. They are then crushed and chopped.

Sodium bicarbonate and lime are added to help dissolve the proteinoids, and sometimes amylase is added to help convert the starches into sugars. But nothing changes the grain's chemistry during this preparation, so it can be cooked in five to ten minutes for easy digestion. Uncooked grains, while palatable, are not easily attacked by digestive juices and thus remain undigested as a mechanical irritant.

Water is the liquid normally used to cook grains, but many of them have a richer and more delicate flavor when milk is mixed with water, one part water than two parts. This is especially true for rice, corn and flour. When using water, soft water is better than hard water. Salt isn't necessary, but if it is, it's usually added to the water before stirring it into the grain or grains.

The amount of liquid needed will vary with the different grains, how they are ground, how they are cooked, and the desired consistency for the cooked grains, mashing requires more liquid than porridge.

Gluten free flour

All grains should be carefully inspected before being added to the boil.

Pay attention to the following points when cooking food:

1. Accurately measure liquids and grains with the same utensil or two utensils of the same size.

2. Let the water boil when you add the grains, but don't let the water boil for too long until it evaporates a lot, as this changes the ratio of water to grains enough to change the consistency of the porridge. Introduce the grains slowly so as not to stop sinking to the bottom and thicken overall.

3. Stir the grains until set, but stop stirring after that. The grains, although properly softened, retain their original shape and are therefore more appetizing. Stirring can make the preparation mushy and spoil its appearance.

When making any muse from grain or flour, it is advisable to knead the material into a dough, reserving some of the liquid in the indicated amount, before adding it to the boiling water. This prevents the tendency to cook in lumps, which often happens when dry flour is sprinkled into boiling liquid. However, care must be taken to add the wetted portions very slowly, stirring vigorously in between so as not to inhibit the boil. Wet with warm water. For milled products, additional instructions apply to whole or broken grains.

When the grains are fully cooked, place them in the refrigerator or somewhere that can cool quickly (as slow cooling can cause fermentation) overnight.

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