23 December 2010

Not your run-of-the-mill mill

I'm really excited about my new KoMo Fidibus Medium grain mill.  KoMo is a German/Austrian company which manufactures synthetic  stone mills and flakers. This mill is obviously designed to last for decades. Not only does it grind stuff really well, but it's a very handsome object.

I used a Family Grain Mill attachment for my KitchenAid mixer for years, which certainly does a decent job, but makes a lot of noise and a certain amount of mess in the process. Also, it wreaks havoc on mixer gears, which makes it kind of pricey to operate over time.

But back to the Fidubus... I've had it for almost a week now and I've milled quite a lot of wheat and some oats. The mill is capable of grinding from a very fine to very coarse texture. I baked muffins, bread and cornbread, and cooked cracked oat porridge. Everything turned out wonderfully except for my easiest, tastiest, 100% whole wheat, no knead bread ever recipe. Several loaves of that came out as complete bricks. I made some basic whole wheat bread from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book to check that my wheat wasn't the problem and it turned out perfectly. I did observe that the dough made from freshly ground wheat seemed to ferment way more than the commercial flour did. It was more like a sourdough starter than bread dough. My theory is that the flour from the mill is so fresh and contains all of the germ and bran as well as no additional conditioners, so it is just a little too lively to let to its own devices overnight. The resulting loaves were tasty but dense (I think I detected a small gravitational pull from one). I am not blaming the Fidibus, nor have I completely given up experimenting with the recipe.

Here it is in action:


  1. Thanks for posting this video! I discovered it while googling for the KoMo mills. Yours is the nicest/clearest one I've found. Do you still love it? I've owned a Magic Mill for over 30 years (handed down from my Mother who used it to raise a heap 'o chillun). BUT! I don't want to lug the big ol thing clear to Canada. We are relocating from California this summer. Are the KoMo mills available for purchase in my new country or should I get one in the States before we move? -Wendy

  2. Welcome to Canada! I bought mine from a Canadian company (KitchenVirtue.com) online, but I just checked their site and they don't appear to carry it anymore. They weren't allowed to sell it below a certain price in Canada, and I don't believe the American companies were allowed to sell to Canada at the lower American price, so it would probably be best to buy it before you come. I have never seen a grain mill in an actual bricks and mortar store here.

    I do still love my KoMo. I use it practically every day. I mostly make bread and I have great results with all kinds of 100% whole wheat recipes including sourdough.

    Good luck with your move!

  3. Thanks for the video. I'm in South Holland and I bought a Fidibus medium with a sifting attachment. I buy hard grains directly from a local organic farmer. You are absolutely right about the freshness of the flour. The yeast thinks it's Christmas with all that super fresh wheat germ.

    I run the flour through 3 stages of sifting to get the lightness that the village kids like. I also run a probe thermometer in the flour whilst milling. I stop and let the stones cool down if the flour temperature goes over 27 Celsius. Hotter than that and you can hurt the wheatgerm. I find that after I have milled about 6 cups I stop for a 15 minute break.

    Good luck with your large garden and shack. I have a small apartment, a yard with a tyre farm and grape vine plus a large rented allotment full of winter veggies.

  4. I haven't worried about the temperature of the flour too much. I don't usually grind more than 900g, which is about 6 cups at a time anyway, but I've always figured it's going into the oven soon enough, and surely that would make the flour temp irrelevent? Or am I missing something?

    Thanks for commenting - I love to hear from people!



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