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modifying recipes


emmalish
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Specifically, I have a question about substituting rolled oats for flour in an existing recipe, but I thought I'd make this a generic thread for other substitutions as well.

I have a recipe for chocolate muffins that I love as-is, but I want to make another version that's slightly healthier (so I don't feel quite so guilty about having them for breakfast). I've modified recipes and substituted ingredients before, but I've never done it with rolled oats. Is it a straight substitution with flour? If not, what would the ratio be? Would I need to adjust the liquids at all? What percentage of the flour would you recommend substituting?

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that rolled oats will hold more moisture, but I have no idea where I read it. I've been googling all morning and can't find the reference.

I understand I've got some experimenting ahead of me – I'm just hoping for advice to help me decide on a starting point.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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I think you could easily get away with a 25% substitution of oats for flour.

I sub old fashioned rolled oats for nuts all the time. You can toast the oats first too if you want. I stir them in a dry skillet until they brown.

I wouldn't sub more than 25% of the flour for another substance or it might mess things up. Unless it's another flour.

I also sub almond meal for flour too to add nutrition again like about 25% to be safe.

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same here: i subs about 1/4 of flour with diff healthy mixes: oat bran, wheat germ,

even granola. i have 'healthy muffins book', it talks a lot about how to subs. i'll check tomorrow and report.

rolled oats though need to be cooked, no? if you want to eat them raw, they need to be soaked (like original muesli). so that would be tricky. you might need to reduce liquid. if i need to reduce liquid, i reduce oil, if there's no other liquid to wrk with. but i woud not recommend subs all the flour with oats. in corn muffins cornmeal and flour are used half-n-half, for example.

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you could always grind the oats down to a flour-like substance in a food processor or blender. being more like flour will make the substitution easier. with a quick bread like muffins, it might be easier to substitute because you don't really need a lot of gluten development and you have the chemical leaveners to do a lot of the work for you. i guess, as you stated, it would be more important to make sure the amount of liquid is balanced.

please post your results!

edited to add: you can grind some and leave some oats whole if you are looking for texture. also, you can make a streusel topping with some additional oats which will also add some good texture to the muffins.

Edited by alanamoana (log)
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Thanks for all the pointers, you guys!

I made the recipe tonight. It originally called for 2 cups of flour, and I substituted 1/2 cup of the flour with 1/2 cup of rolled oats. This was the only modification I made. I soaked the oats in the buttermilk for about 10-15 minutes while I gathered all the other ingredients together, then combined them with the rest of the wet ingredients before adding to the dry.

I'm very happy with the results! All the flavour of the original recipe, plus a nice oaty texture, and they rose beautifully. I may forego the original recipe from now on in favour of this version.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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so i checked my "smart muffins" book by jane Kinderlehrer. she does say that you can grind rolled oats and use them as a flour. also you can toast them. in a couple of recipes including rolled oats used whole she uses half flour (she uses whole wheat pastry flour thruout) half rolled oats with 2tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 large eggs and 2/3 cup buttermilk or yogurt. she recommends subsing honey for sugar (you need to use half the amt of sugar - since honey is twice as sweet). and about a cup by volume of var dried fruits/nuts.

in other recipes with additions usually the amt of grain subs do not exceed half.

i dont know if it's due to whole wheat flour or bran that she uses, usually there's from 1/2 to 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt involved and from 4tb to 1/3 cup bran of some sort.

it's an amazing little book.

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That sounds like a good book to refer to! I have a recipe for oatmeal muffins that I use that has equal parts flour and oats (1c of each). They're yummy, but the teenyest tiniest muffins ever – they hardly rise at all. I want to muck about with that one too and see if I can get a more substantial muffin out of it. I'm happy with the way the chocolate ones turned out (yay! I was expecting to have to experiment for awhile before I got something I liked), so maybe I'll experiment with those proportions in the other recipe.

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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The way I usually do it is break the recipe down into the different components...

You've got your tenderizers...

sugar-start by reducing by 1/3

egg(which also acts as a leavener) - you can add more egg in place of oil to increase protein (although not sure about fat ratio because of the yolk)

oil-you can usually swap half with water or milk, or all the oil with applesauce or mashed banana. mmmm banana choco muffins!

butter or shortening-well shortening is bad so don't use it. butter can usually be reduced, but then sugar might need to be increased to help with texture.

You've got your body makers

Flours - when you switch to whole wheat or any fiberous grain, you're going to need a bit more tenderizing and possibly leavening

Oats - I use thick oats in an excellent oat muffin. I don't pre-soak them or cook them, and they bake up just perfectly adding the right amount of body and dimension to the muffin.

Cocoa - is going to pull moisture, but adds very little calories so it's about balancing the sugar/cocoa ratio.

That's usually a good starting point; however, you could just find a healthy muffin recipe and swap out a little of the flour for cocoa and oats...that actually sounds really good. Good luck.

Edited by sugarseattle (log)

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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