Cream of Wheat is a hot cereal that is similar to porridge or grits. The cereal is made from farina, a finely ground wheat grain that cooks quickly when mixed with boiling water or milk. Cream of Wheat can be prepared in many different ways; today, several different varieties are available for sale, including 10-minute, two and a half minute, one minute, and instant versions.
To cook any of the Cream of Wheat varieties, except for the Instant version, on the stovetop you will need Cream of Wheat cereal, water or milk and salt if you prefer. For one serving of Cream of Wheat, it is suggested that you use 1 1/4 cups of water or milk, 3 tablespoons of Cream of Wheat, and a pinch of salt. For two servings, use 2 cups of water or milk, 1/3 cup of Cream of Wheat, and salt. To cook more than these amounts it is a good rule of thumb to use five parts liquid for every one part cereal. Using milk instead of water results in a creamier version of the cereal. To cook the ingredients, boil the water or milk on a stovetop in a saucepan. When the liquid is boiling you can add the salt, then the cereal. Pour the uncooked cereal in a steady fashion, stirring the mixture the entire time that you are pouring. Then, depending on the variety of Cream of Wheat, continue to simmer and stir the cereal for the time directed on the box. When the cereal is thickened, it is ready to eat.
All of the Cream of Wheat varieties can also be cooked in the microwave. Use the same ingredients as listed above for the stovetop directions. Put all of the ingredients in one bowl at the same time, then place the bowl in the microwave. Cook the cereal for one minute in the microwave oven on a high setting. Remove the cereal to stir before cooking for another two to three minutes in the microwave. Stir approximately every 30 seconds. The cereal is done when it has thickened.
Cream of Wheat can also be used to bake bread, muffins, cookies or dumplings. It can also be chilled after cooking, then sliced and fried for a different breakfast food. The Instant variety now comes in several different flavors, including Maple Brown Sugar, Apples and Cinnamon, Cinnamon Swirl and Strawberries and Cream. Many people like to add brown sugar, cream or fruit to their plain Cream of Wheat.