We have all had flaked grains of one sort or another. The most common flaked grain is oatmeal. Fresh flaked oats are just incredible and make very creamy and tasty oatmeal that is far better than any commercially available oatmeal. You also, haven’t lived until you have had homemade oatmeal cookies with fresh oatmeal.
Flaking your own grains isn’t limited to just oatmeal. You can flake almost any grain you want, including wheat, rye, spelt, millet, kamut and more. I like to use flaked rye in rye breads for an extra hearty bread.
The reason fresh flaked grains are so much better than their store-bought counter parts is same reason that fresh milled flour is better. You get all of the vitamins, minerals and oils present in the grain. You have no oxidation, which means no loss of flavor and nothing is removed to extend the shelf life. This is why just like with fresh milled flour you need to use fresh flaked grains as soon as possible. They don’t keep well. If you do end up flaking more than you need you can store then in the freezer for a few days. But, you should use them as soon as possible otherwise you loose the benefits of flaking them yourself.
Flaking grain is quite easy. You simply need a grain flaker. If you have a Bosch mixer you can get a grain flaking attachment for it. If you don’t, then you will need to get one of the hand units on the market. The one I have and really like is the Marcato Marga which is made in Italy it runs around $85, but is top quality and will last a lifetime.
It is a simple unit that you attach to your table or counter, you set a side knob in one of three positions (regular flake, quick-cook or cracked grain) and then put in your grain and start cranking the handle. While it may seem like it would be hard to do it is surprisingly easy and quick. I can make several cups of flaked grain in just a few minutes. It is easy to setup, easy to use and when you done clean up is a snap.
What I do like about the Marga flaker is that you do have three options. If you choose the regular flake you get a thicker flaked grain that take a little more time to cook, but like in the case of oatmeal makes a really nice chewy, hearty oatmeal that is just wonderful. The quick-cook setting makes a thinner flake that is more like instant in that it cooks in just seconds. In breads and such this type of flake tends to break down and really blend in to the dough. For oatmeal type uses it makes a creamier product. The final setting is the cracked grain setting and this does things like cracked wheat for things like cold grain salads, cornmeal’s, etc. that can add crunch to breads and other items.
(check out or Oat Roller / Flaker Mill Comparison review)