acorn processing

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dennydrewcook

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Nov 26, 2014
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so this tiny loaf took about 4 hours😂 has anyone got any way to crack acorns faster? any ideas will be much appreciated!


denny 😊
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Good for you :D Well done indeed :cool:
How does it taste ? and how much did you need to make the bread ?

You can boil the blighters and hit them hard with a pestle in a big mortar :)
You still have to pick all the nut out, but it's a lot easier.
I generally just slit mine with a wee sharp knife and shell them like peas.

cheers,
Toddy
 
Last edited:
Hi denny,

I place a dish towel onto a cutting board sitting on the kitchen counter top. I lay 5 dried acorns on the towel. I fold the towel over them and whack each once with a 1lb. mallet. It cracks the shells and also loosens the testa, which comes right off. I remove the shells and testas as I transfer the nutmeats from the towel to a bowl holding my shelled acorns. The folded towel keeps pieces of the shell from flying around the kitchen.

Here's a link to collection of acorn articles including the approach I use for acorn processing. I plan to make Orange Acorn Bread tomorrow using the recipe on the website.

http://www.natureoutside.com/5-great-acorn-articles/

- Woodsorrel
 
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Toddy

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Depends on your acorns.
I'm lucky, I have woodlands all around us with a wide variety of oaks. Some produce acorns that can almost be eaten just as they are, like nuts. Others are so bitter I can boil them up and use the tannin in dyeing though.

So, check your acorns. If they're awfully bitter, then they need to be leached. Basically just soak them in water for a couple of days and try again. Change the water and do it again until you're happy with them.
The only way to make it work is to try it for yourself.
Some bitterness in the coffee's no bad thing though :)

Quantities….ehm, what can you find ? A billy full will make a couple of mugs worth, put it that way :)

The ones I showed don't need leached. So I just quartered and shelled them, roasted them in a dry frying pan and then ground them up for coffee. Tbh, I think it makes better coffee if the grounds are re-roasted just before brewing, but that's maybe just my tastes :dunno:

This thread has quite a lot of information on it if you follow the links :D
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15972
and
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33577

Interested to hear how you get on :D

M
 

dennydrewcook

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How does it taste ? and how much did you need to make the bread ?
It tasted supprisingly good! just like normal brown bread, I used about 100/150 acorns and got around 250g flour I mixed this with about 50g plain white bread flour, water and butter and used a bread machine but it defionatly wouldn't have worked in the oven it was very wet!

I generally just slit mine with a wee sharp knife and shell them like peas.
This is what I did but I dried them in the dehydrator afterwards to just tap them out onto the tray but it seems lots of effort to cut them up one by one especially is I wanted to make lots of flour?

Hi denny,

I place a dish towel onto a cutting board sitting on the kitchen counter top. I lay 5 dried acorns on the towel. I fold the towel over them and whack each once with a 1lb. mallet. It cracks the shells and also loosens the testa, which comes right off. I remove the shells and testas as I transfer the nutmeats from the towel to a bowl holding my shelled acorns. The folded towel keeps pieces of the shell from flying around the kitchen.
I'll try this!!!



denny 😊
 

dennydrewcook

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Nov 26, 2014
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The ones I showed don't need leached. So I just quartered and shelled them, roasted them in a dry frying pan and then ground them up for coffee. Tbh, I think it makes better coffee if the grounds are re-roasted just before brewing, but that's maybe just my tastes
I tryed this by roasting them in the oven but they tasted vile! nothing like coffee? any tips? Thanks



denny 😊
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Did you taste them first ? figure out the tannin issue might be the reason :dunno:
Some folks just really don't like it anyway.

I know it seems a footer, but every one needs shelled some way or other, just like pea pods do :)
I like woodsorrel's idea too, and I'll give it a shot :)

They discolour pretty quickly once shelled or damaged, I don't know if that changes their taste ? I generally don't hang around with them like that but cook them up pdq.

M
 

dennydrewcook

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I didn't roast them for the flour, just boiled a few times and tipped away water each time then dryed them in a dehydrator and blended to flour but I'm sure you could mill them?


denny 😊
 

TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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Currently processing some Acorns to make some Acorn flour - anyone else using the little Acorns for something Interesting?

I'm thinking of making Acorn and Bilberry & Hazelnut Cookies.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
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Steve Mould did a good video on how Oak trees produce a glut of acorns in five year cycles which overwhelms Squirrels ability to cache and find them so they end up leaving lots to grow.
Yeah, I know its slightly off topic but I've got a mind like a Magpie and it picks up random shiny things.

His other videos are pretty good as well and the one about Hep A and uncooked mussels is an eye opener.
 
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TeeDee

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Steve Mould did a good video on how Oak trees produce a glut of acorns in five year cycles which overwhelms Squirrels ability to cache and find them so they end up leaving lots to grow.
Yeah, I know its slightly off topic but I've got a mind like a Magpie and it picks up random shiny things.

His other videos are pretty good as well and the one about Hep A and uncooked mussels is an eye opener.

The 5 year cycle thing is interesting. Do you happen to know if other Nut producing Trees ( Hazels ) do similar?
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
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347
-------------
The 5 year cycle thing is interesting. Do you happen to know if other Nut producing Trees ( Hazels ) do similar?
Dunno, Beech trees go in mast and produce a bigger crop every few years but I don't know if the effect is synchronized with other trees like it is with oak trees.
To be fair I only found out about this in acorns last week myself, from that Steve Mould video.
 

Suffolkrafter

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Dec 25, 2019
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I tried acorns for the first time this season and found a process that I'm happy with and gives plenty of calories for the effort. It takes time, but not a lot of work considering what you get.

1. Collect the acorns, checking for insect holes
2. Shelled them using finger nail. I found so long as they weren't too hard or completely brown I could generally do it without using a knife
3. Gently dried then in a like warm oven. This caused the 'testa' or thin brown membrane to crisp and easily brush off.
4. Finely diced them with knife on a chopping board.
5. I then let them rest in a bowl of water. Any remaining testa could be skimmed from the surface easily. I changed the water morning and night for 7 days. On the 7 th day the water was reasonably clear and the acorn tasted ok
6. Strained the acorns in a muslin cloth then dried again in the oven - on a gentle heat.
7. Ground with pestle and mortar into a flour. This would be much easier with a coffee grinder or something similar.

I then made two acorn bannocks by mixing with water into a paste and frying. For the second bannock I added a bit of bread flour. The second bannock was better and firmer, but both were nice.

Another thing I've learned from research on the internet; if you're making flour, do not heat the acorns over 60 degrees c at any stage, or the starch will cook. Secondly, acorn flour does not contain gluten, so will not bond or rise in a dough the way bread flour does. Hence my bannock without bread flour was a little crumbly.

I also roasted beach nuts while waiting for the acorns and they are very tasty.
 
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TeeDee

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Nov 6, 2008
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I tried acorns for the first time this season and found a process that I'm happy with and gives plenty of calories for the effort. It takes time, but not a lot of work considering what you get.

1. Collect the acorns, checking for insect holes
2. Shelled them using finger nail. I found so long as they weren't too hard or completely brown I could generally do it without using a knife
3. Gently dried then in a like warm oven. This caused the 'testa' or thin brown membrane to crisp and easily brush off.
4. Finely diced them with knife on a chopping board.
5. I then let them rest in a bowl of water. Any remaining testa could be skimmed from the surface easily. I changed the water morning and night for 7 days. On the 7 th day the water was reasonably clear and the acorn tasted ok
6. Strained the acorns in a muslin cloth then dried again in the oven - on a gentle heat.
7. Ground with pestle and mortar into a flour. This would be much easier with a coffee grinder or something similar.

I then made two acorn bannocks by mixing with water into a paste and frying. For the second bannock I added a bit of bread flour. The second bannock was better and firmer, but both were nice.

Another thing I've learned from research on the internet; if you're making flour, do not heat the acorns over 60 degrees c at any stage, or the starch will cook. Secondly, acorn flour does not contain gluten, so will not bond or rise in a dough the way bread flour does. Hence my bannock without bread flour was a little crumbly.

I also roasted beach nuts while waiting for the acorns and they are very tasty.


I think the way to think of Acorn flour is an an extender/multiplier of the normal Flour one does have and not a full replacement.
God bless your efforts for doing this with a Pestle and Mortar !!! Sincere labour I'd imagine.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Wheat flour does not leaven or rise without some sort of "leavening agent."
Baking soda is a chemical source of carbon dioxide.
Baking powder is a heat labile source of carbon dioxide.
Yeast farts are the conventional source of carbon dioxide in leavened breads, beers and wines.

Is there ever a particular leavening agent indicated for the acorn flour?
 

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