On a quest to healthier baking and eating, I’ll be doing a lot more modifications to original recipes. One of them is to substitute plain white flour with oat flour. Now some of you may think, what is oat flour? Oat flour is essentially finely processed ground oats. Are your minds blown? Well mine was when I first found this out. I thought I had to go to some health food store to buy it for some rip off price. Have you heard of instant oats? Well I think instant oats is partially or completely processed ground oats, but with added sugar, preservatives, dehydrating agents etc… So that’s why instant oats aren’t that good for you.
There are many health benefits to oats. They are a gluten free (look at packaging), high fibre and high protein alternative to your highly processed cereals (maize, flour, rice etc…) available in supermarkets. If you have a blender or food processor at home, I would recommend that you do it yourself instead of going out to buy it since the machines they use to process oat flour may contain traces of food allergens e.g. tree nuts, soy and flour (gluten).
How to make oat flour
Difficulty: Super easy Makes: Roughly 2 cups
– 3 cups rolled/ground oats
1. Pulse oats in food processor/blender/coffee bean grinder until oats resemble fine crumbs/flour.
Note: You can process the oats to the consistency you want. If you prefer some small oat bits then process them less, if you want to go all out flour then keep processing. Its all up to you.
A reminder with using oats in baking is that since oats are gluten free, they do not have that binding factor that white flour provides in bread, cakes or muffins. Be careful how much you decide to substitute especially when you are trying to completely replace the flour in the recipe, things may not always turn out as you expect them to me. Oats are also much coarser than flour, so the texture of your baked goods will also be affected. You cannot expect to get super soft, melts in your mouth results each time and that’s where experimenting in the kitchen lab comes into play. Currently I’ve been successful with substituting half of the plain flour with oat flour to no detriment to the taste and texture of muffins. For sponge cakes, it may be worthwhile to make sure your oat flour is super fine to preserve the fluffy texture those types of cakes. Whereas for moist cakes such as banana cake or carrot cake, there is a greater leeway for the amount of oat flour that can be substituted in a recipe because of their already distinctive textures.
Using food processor: You can fine and small chunky bits, so there’s a bit more of a bit to it.
Using coffee grinder: Results are much finer and more even, especially if you’re only processing small amounts.
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