Oats are considered to be the perfect breakfast food, but did you know that oats can also be used for baking? This powerhouse superfood food is loaded with many nutrients, but whole grain oats are also useful in making baked goods.
You’re probably already aware of the health and nutrition value of oats, and it’s noteworthy to mention that they are suitable for people of any age. But, do not even know that oats are also quite adept to baking?
So, what kind of oats do you use for baking? Recipes call for instant oats on occasion, but rolled oats, quick oats and oat flour are the best kind of oats for baking. Steel cut oats are used for hearty recipes like baked oatmeal and pilaf.
Oats can be used for baking, but the different variants of oats available make it confusing for you to know which one is the right option for baking. Well, no need to be worried.
This article will reveal the right candidates of oats for baking so that you are no longer confused. The guide has you covered with details about the different kinds of oats, how oats are used in baking, what are the right types for baking and also include some baking recipes that use oats for you to try next.
What is the difference between different types of oats?
Oats are available in many different variants. Steel cut oats, rolled oats and quick oats are the most common, however there are so many options available.
You must be now wondering what is the difference between these different types of oats. Well, the primary difference lies in their shape, texture, processing and resulting cooking time.
Old-fashioned oats are one of the most popular versions of oats. These oats are sometimes named as the large flaked oats or simply rolled oats.
The oat groats are steamed first, and then rolled flat. The flattened oats have more exposed surface area which significantly reduces cooking time.
Apart from the traditional old-fashioned oats, there is one more great option available which is none other than the quick oats. Quick oats are another type of rolled oats, but they are further processed by being cut into smaller bits and pieces.
Quick oats have a less uniform size as compared to the classic old-fashioned oats because they are cut into fragmented pieces. The tiny pieces have more exposed edges and surface area which further reduces the cooking time even more.
Speaking of instant oats now, this type of oats is even more processed as compared to the quick oats. For instant oats, the precooked oats are cut into finer and smaller pieces. They have an extremely granular texture that is already cooked, therefore they only require hot water to rehydrate and serve.
Scottish oats are coarsely ground oat groats that have not been cooked or steamed during the manufacturing process. When cooked as a porridge, the consistency resembles that of Cream of Wheat.
Oat flour is most frequently used in baking. The fine powder resembles the texture of regular wheat flour, however oats are gluten free so it has different properties when used for baking.
If you only need a small amount, quickly make oat flour at home using a blender or food processor. Pulverize a cup of rolled oats or quick oats until it becomes powder, however it is not recommended to use steel cut oats as they are way to tough and require commercial mill equipment.
Be careful! If using too much oat flour, baked goods may turn out dense, heavy and flat because the lack of gluten prevents the flour from trapping gases that give rise to the dough or batter.
Steel cut oats
Steel-cut oats are not steamed or rolled, instead the kernels are simply cut or chopped in half. In this case, the whole oat groats are cut into two or three pieces by using a sharp blade so that they become steel-cut oats.
The minimal processing leaves the oats very dense, which requires extended amounts of cooking. Steel cut oats are not commonly used in cooking in the oven, except for making baked oatmeal.
Rolled Oats vs Quick Oats for Baking
Do you prefer the chewy texture of oats? If yes, baking rolled oats will be so apt for you!
Rolled oats are ideal for baking. Note, rolled oats are oftentimes termed as the large flake oats and they create a perfect chewy texture if you bake them.
Quick oats can also be used for baking. They have a less uniform size and texture. If you bake them, you will be slightly less chewy when compared to rolled oats.
Can I bake with rolled oats?
Yes, you can surely bake rolled oats. In fact, when it comes to baking, rolled oats or old-fashioned oats are one of the best choice options for you!
Being large flake oats, they provide more texture. Hence, if you want to create larger crumbles and you prefer the awesome chewy texture, then these oats will be much recommended to you!
Can I bake with quick oats?
Quick oats are another great option for baking. The only difference between these rolled oats and quick oats is the tiny fragmented texture of the smaller flake pieces.
Old-fashioned oats offer larger crumbles. With quick oats, you won’t get the same size flakes.
Old-fashioned oats add more nutty flavor and aroma to the final dish! You can’t expect the same thing with quick oats.
Quick oats will have lesser texture and smaller sized flakes. That being said, they are still a good option as far as taste and texture are concerned when baking them.
Can I substitute old fashioned oats for quick cooking oats in baking?
Yes, you can substitute rolled oats for quick oats in baking. However, it’s not always recommended to substitute old fashioned oats for quick cooking oats in baking as the texture and size of the oat flakes are completely different.
As a result, you may not be satisfied with the final outcome if you substitute old fashioned oats with quick cooking oats for every recipe.
Old fashioned oats with their larger and flaky texture ensure larger crumb size and noticeable chewiness. When baking quick cooking oats, there will be a smaller crumb with a slight crunchiness.
Can I bake with steel cut oats?
Yes, you can surely bake steel cut oats. The most common baking recipe for steel cut oats is baked oatmeal, but they are not generally used in traditional baked goods.
Well, rolled oats are the best recommendation for baking. But, if you are looking for an alternate type, then you can consider baking steel cut oats.
Steel cut oats are chopped through sharp blades; they are extremely hard and crunchy. They will not be suitable for delicate baked goods like cookies, muffins or bread.
If you are someone who likes and prefers the crunchiest taste of oats, then please feel free to try steel cut oats for baking. You will certainly find the texture to be hardy and chewy, which makes it perfect for whole grain dishes like pilaf or baked porridge.
Can I bake with instant oats?
Instant oats are a finer granule oat product that has already been cooked. The texture of instant oats is thinner and more powdery as compared to the quick oats, thus you will not witness the same level of crunchiness if you bake these oats.
To summarize, if you love the crunchy taste and texture of oats, then instant oats won’t be ideal for you.
Tips for Baking with Oats
This guide has covered the different types of oats, and what they are best used for. Depending on the desired outcome, rolled oats, quick oats and oat flour are most often used for baking.
When oats are baked, they offer a crumble and crunchy texture. There are many types of oats available in the market. The best recommendation is the classic old-fashioned oats that are less processed compared to other oat variants.
However, if you prefer the hard and utterly crunchy texture, then you can use steel-cut oats for baking.
- Select the right type of oats for baking. The texture of the final product can vary a lot based on the kind you have selected,.
- If you love the crunchy, chewy, and nutty texture, then rolled oats or old-fashioned oats are considered to be the best for baking.
- For a finer mouthfeel, then oat flour may be suitable.
- It’s not recommended to substitute 1:1 oat flour for wheat flour. The protein, fat and fiber content is different, in addition to the fact the oats do not contain gluten that helps to trap gases that gives baked goods the rise.
- Instant oats are not ideal for baking unless there is a specific recipe requirement. Instant oats are precooked powdery granules, that’s why they are not suitable for baking.