Using a German Hand Grinder- There’s One in Every German Kitchen
I don’t know if German cooking uses more bread crumbs than other places…. but it seems like we were always using a German Hand Grinder to make them. For Schnitzel, Kotlett, Frikadellen and of course, toasted in butter for a yummy cauliflower topping.
In our home no bread was ever thrown away. If it was too stale to eat, mom would put it in a metal pan, and leave it in the oven to completely dry out. (She didn’t turn the oven on… the bread would just be dried there because it was a dry place.) When the pan started to fill up, it was time to use them!
My job was to make the breadcrumbs. I would pull out the old hand grinder, and attach it to the edge of the pull out cutting board, set a plate underneath the opening to catch the crumbs, and get to work. Stale bread would go into the top, and a handle would turn a drum that looked a bit like a round grater. The old style grinder had a wooden block in the top to help push bread through.
Quick Look at the Contents
German Hand Grinder
Old bread was transformed into fine breadcrumbs, and on my favorite days, those breadcrumbs were patted onto Kotlett (breaded pork chops)! MMmmmmm….
I loved using the grinder. Some kids like banging on pots with wooden spoons… I liked turning the handle and watching the wheel go ‘round and round’. Of course, I learned the hard way that sticking a finger into the top while turning the wheel was a very bad idea….
Grind Bread and Nuts
You could also use the Hand Grinder to grind nuts into the perfect texture for baking delicious cakes and cookies like Vanille Kipferl!
Today, I don’t keep a pan of stale bread in my oven, and I use a food processor to make my bread crumbs. While it is quick and efficient, it doesn’t give me the same pleasure as this task did when I was a child. And I remember the first time I saw Bread Crumbs for SALE in the Grocery Store… I thought “why would you pay for what is free?”. Some things stay the same though…. I can’t seem to throw away stale bread, and I still love Panierte Schweinekotelett!
Luckily I’ve been able to find a new version of the Hand grinder, because Mom is not about to give up hers. While the food processor works, it’s a lot of clean up for a small job… but it doesn’t work as well for nuts (you end up making peanut butter or hazelnut butter if you aren’t careful!
Vintage German Hand Grinders
Modern Versions of the German Hand Grinders
It’s harder to find the table mount versions. These suction mount grinders should work on any kitchen surface.
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Recipe for Breaded Pork Chops (Panierte Schweinekoteletts)
What Can you DO with all those Breadcrumbs?