We grow Roy's Abenaki Calais flint and even with our Diamant mill it takes 2 passes to make a corn meal (not a fine flour), and this is with a 1 H.P. 12V DC motor on the mill (BTW I bought this mill back in the 70's when the price was around $200, which at the time was 2 arms and a leg). The mill is located in our pantry so we don't have to have the noise and dust mess in the kitchen.
We mill the red cobs and save the yellow to make hominy through nixtamalization. You can make tortillas from hominy by wet grinding to make masa, but we found that we can skip that step and serve the hominy with beans and salsa for the same flavor profile without the extra work. It may seem like work to make nixtamal, but I can see why this extremely low tech method was favored by the people who gave us corn. Besides making the grain more nutritious, you don't need a mill or any other specialized equipment other than a cooking pot and some wood ashes or slaked lime (calcium hydroxide).
When we use the cornmeal, we soak the grain before baking. We usually do that with all our meal/flour batters as it makes for a more digestible and better textured product in general. As for sweet corn, it makes a terrific corn bread flavor-wise although it can be a bit sticky or gummy in texture. And the O.P. varieties of sweet corn kernels, IMHO, make the tastiest corn nuts when parched in oil.
What is the best use for sweet corn flour? Or what is is most similar to?
When reconstituted, dried ground sweet corn is most similar to creamed corn... While it can be used as if it were corn meal, breads turn out heavier, and taste like they were under-cooked. Walks description of "gummy" is right on.
In my opinion, the best parching corns are dried sugary enhanced sweet corn. And the second best parching corns are any other sweet corn. I don't much care for the eating qualities of parched flour corn.
I think that the highest food use for dried sweet corn, is as whole kernels that are added to long-cooking soups, or as chicken feed.
In my climate, sweet corns dry readily because they mature during hot dry weather. I have trouble drying flints and popcorn because they mature during my cold rainy season.
I have not made a cornbread suitable for slicing as bread...yet..
Well, mine slices great if I only use 1 cup of cornmeal per loaf (and boil the dern stuff first). I hand grind mine as well, and for the CSA, it's getting very tedious, so I want to go to an electric mill. My arm is tired and so am I.
All the ones that will do Flint corn, are of the 2 arms and a leg price wise. I'm very fussy about a new mill. It has to work without clogging, or getting the grain too hot, it cannot run on 220V, it has to be able to grind at least 8 cups without resting, it has to be easy to clean and easy on the ears. What? I can't hear what you said...dern old deef wives. And there will be no "poof" going everywhere in the kitchen.
Holly, which mills are you considering? Are you considering a large hand mill that you can motorize or a purely electrical model?
If you can change yourself, if you can make certain requirements of yourself that you are then able to fulfill, you have a reason for hope. Wendell Berry
Post by 12540dumont on May 19, 2013 11:46:48 GMT -5
I also dry sweet corn for "Chicas" and use it as Joseph does, in soups and stews.
Currently I use the old CS Bell to grind corn. Then I put it in a coffee grinder. Then I sift it, then I grind it again. I save the really hard bits for polenta.
From all the mills I've looked at and tried, I'm down to three, The Duett KoMo mill, a Meadows 8", or an A200 (http://www.goodmills.eu/en/Catalog_buffet.htm). Good mills thinks I need an A300, but I don't have 220, so I have to stay smaller.
The Meadows is a bit large and will grind every grain I grow. $$$$ The A200, is the right size and will grow every grain I grow $$ (just not as fast, but that's okay). The Duett won't do flint corn, but it's the right size and has a flaker. $$$
So that's it, by the end of the year, I have to do something. I "can't" spend another year hand grind corn for the CSA. Too much like bloody work!
Post by 12540dumont on Oct 17, 2013 18:47:41 GMT -5
I ended up getting a Komo mill. It grinds flint, but only if I put it through the CS Bell first. It does flour corn very easily.
I'm still wearing my ear muffs though. The safety inspector (aka Leo), said it's too loud to operate without them. What? I can't hear you, I have my ear muffs on.
It did not poof all over the kitchen...yeah!
It was fast!
I still had to sift out some of the tough guys and set them aside for polenta (oh, poor me! Yummy).
And best of all, when I told the folks at Pleasant Grain that I wanted a Duett....they told me they had this one (not a Duett) in stock at 25% off. So, I quickly spent the money before any bill came in. I don't know how they "know", but every time I get just a few dollars ahead, some unsuspected bill comes in like a broken hot water heater, a dog with an ear infection, or ?
Of course, then I got home, and truck was towed. My wonderful son had left it in a "no parking zone" (but only for a minute). The world is full of people waiting to profit from those who parked in a No Parking Zone for just a minute. (Gee that's why it says No Parking). Well that set me back$$. I had to go bail it out of car jail. Now he won't be driving the truck anymore, unless he can come up with the $$ to pay me back.
Darn good thing I bought the mill, or it would have been another year before I could have purchased it!