How to Puff Wheat

Written by mary johnson-gerard, ph.d.
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How to Puff Wheat
Make a version of puffed wheat at home to use in recipes like granola or power bars. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The process of puffing grains was invented by Alexander P. Anderson in 1895. He accidentally caused an explosion in his lab that resulted in puffed rice. Quaker Oats quickly backed this process and so began the puffed grain breakfast cereal industry. Grains like rice, wheat and corn are puffed to make cereals like Rice Krispies, Cheerios, Corn Pops and Puffed Wheat. Puffing wheat at home results in a roasted, chewy kernel. Commercially puffed wheat is done with heavy-duty equipment that puts 90.7 Kilogram of pressure into extruded wheat dough.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Popcorn popper
  • Oil
  • Wheat grains

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  1. 1

    Pour 1 cup of wheat grains into the popper.

  2. 2

    Add 1/4 cup of oil. The grains need moisture to heat up and pop open. The oil gives it moisture and also adds a bit of flavour.

  3. 3

    Turn the popper on and let it run until the wheat begins to pop open and it smells like baking bread. The time is different for all poppers and all types of wheat, so just stay close and watch it. Once it cracks open and smells roasted, it is done.

  4. 4

    Remove the cracked, roasted wheat and let it cool.

  5. 5

    Add the wheat grains to homemade granola or power bars for added nutrition.

Tips and warnings

  • Lower the fat by adding less oil. Experiment with your popper to see what amount of oil works best for your tastes.
  • There has been some research that puffing grains changes the chemical structure and makes it toxic.

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