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Franci

Steel cut oats and baking

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I have an open bag of steel cut oats and would like to use it in baking. I've searched a bit and definitely I'll make a soda bread, not enough to use the whole bag. I don't want to go and buy new ingredients since we are going to be away but I have dry fruits and some nuts to finish, plus corn meal, and regular flour.

I would really love if you could share your recipes and tips.

 

Thanks

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This is coming from someone who is not very familiar with baking, and who has only made soda bread once, with poor results.  I'm having a hard time understanding how steel cut oats could be used in soda bread.  Could you explain your thinking, your plans for using the ingredient, or maybe a pointer to a recipe or technique if you have one?  Thanks!

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Shel_B, I never used steel cuts in baking but I know that if you soak the oats overnight before baking they will soften enough for baking. Read the comments in this link for example.

In other breads with whole grain often you can make also a porridge before kneading the bread. I think if making pancakes, I'd use the porridge.


Edited by Franci (log)

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How do these compare with normal rolled oats?

 

If they're in any way similar, then flapjacks always go down well.  I've used them as the base of a Scottish-inspired entremet.

 

Continuing the Scottish theme, you could do a Cranachan now that raspberries are in season.

 

You can even use them to make a nougatine.  In fact, I think you could use them to replace a variety of nuts in a lot of different preparations.

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I think they're pretty lousy for baking anything that you might want to eat.

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You can use oats as a topping for a crumble. Combine flour and cold butter with your fingers until it forms crumbs, with sugar for a fruit crumble or without for vegetables, then add oats, nuts/seeds and some seasoning, herbs and maybe cheese for vegetables. Put it on top of stewed fruit or else cooked vegetables in a béchamel/cream sauce and bake until golden.

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I rarely use steel cut or pinhead oats in baking - when I do I soak them overnight or if in a hurry, cook them in the rice cooker on the porridge setting.

 

I also sometimes grind them into "flour" using the VitaMix or the Thermomix - a food processor can also be used but it takes a bit more effort.

 

With the latter process you do have to increase the liquid in a recipe because the uncooked oats will take up a lot of moisture.  I mix the dry ingredients together, (except for any dried fruits and nuts which might be included)  add the liquid, mix well and set aside for at least 30 minutes to hydrate and then add additional liquid, which I have found is always necessary, to get the correct consistency and texture in the batter. 

 

For better flavor, I advise toasting the oats prior to soaking, cooking or grinding them. 

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I think they're pretty lousy for baking anything that you might want to eat.

 

Ah, ah, Weino, you made me laugh. I'll try the soda bread and if I don't like it, I'll put  the bag in the freezer and make porridge in the fall.


Edited by Franci (log)

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Continuing the Scottish theme, you could do a Cranachan now that raspberries are in season.

When I was in Scotland last month, I obviously forgot to look at the varieties of oats. This linked recipe specifically calls for "medium oatmeal." What would the other options for oatmeal be? What do they look like?

 

I ask because most U.S. oatmeal is of the rolled oats variety, and looks flattened. The Scottish oats look more 3D (and have more fine matter than the Irish oats I can find here).

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When I was in Scotland last month, I obviously forgot to look at the varieties of oats. This linked recipe specifically calls for "medium oatmeal." What would the other options for oatmeal be? What do they look like?

 

I ask because most U.S. oatmeal is of the rolled oats variety, and looks flattened. The Scottish oats look more 3D (and have more fine matter than the Irish oats I can find here).

Here is the definitive info with photos. 

 

I buy Flahavan's Pinhead Oatmeal from Amazon because I cook a lot for porridge both on its own and mixed with other grains.  I think the flavor is superior to other brands - like McCann's USED TO BE before they "Americanized" the product.  Flahavan's is imported from IRELAND.

This may seem like a lot of oats but each bag is "25 servings"  but I average 15-20 servings per bag.

I also cook this and prepare oat/potato "cakes"  cooked on the griddle - the cooked oatmeal mixed half and half with leftover mashed potatoes, fried onions, eggs to bind the mixture and sometimes some sauteed mushrooms.

 

I have this via Subscribe & Save every 6 months.  Occasionally I have to request an order a month early - especially in the winter.  (I ordered last November and again in April. 

10 cents an ounce (with free shipping via Amazon Prime) is cheaper than the bulk pinhead oats at the local market.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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Here is the definitive info with photos. 

 

I buy Flahavan's Pinhead Oatmeal from Amazon because I cook a lot for porridge both on its own and mixed with other grains.  I think the flavor is superior to other brands - like McCann's USED TO BE before they "Americanized" the product.  Flahavan's is imported from IRELAND.

 

How has McCann's changed?  What do you mean by "Americanized?"  The last steel cut oats I bought were from Bob's Red Mill.  How would Flahavan's compare to Red Mill, if you know?

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McCann's used to have a more pronounced "oaty" flavor.   The last tin I purchased, about 2 1/2 years ago, did not have the flavor I expected.  I thought perhaps it was my error, possibly not adding enough salt - but then I toasted the next batch and cooked them just as I have been doing for decades and they just did not taste right. 

I tried Bob's Red Mill (organic Scottish) and they were better than the McCann's I had.  I also purchased some Hamlyns pinhead oatmeal (Scotland import) from The British Food Shop online, which was very good.

 

However I like the Flahavan's much better.  I've tried a couple of their other products and been pleased with all.

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McCann's used to have a more pronounced "oaty" flavor [...]

 

I tried Bob's Red Mill (organic Scottish) and they were better than the McCann's I had.  I also purchased some Hamlyns pinhead oatmeal (Scotland import) from The British Food Shop online, which was very good.

 

However I like the Flahavan's much better.  I've tried a couple of their other products and been pleased with all.

 

Thanks.  Next time I buy steel cut oats, I'll try the Hamlyn's as I have a couple of other items to get from the British Food Shop. 

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I was just over at CI, and FWIW, they did a taste test on steel cut oats.  McCann's came in dead last. Some said it was “too mild, almost timid,” “like cardboard or paper pulp,” with an “odd aftertaste,” that was slightly “bitter” and “vegetal,” like “raw seeds” or “grass.”

 

Bob's Red Mill organic steel cut oats finished first.

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I was just over at CI, and FWIW, they did a taste test on steel cut oats.  McCann's came in dead last. Some said it was “too mild, almost timid,” “like cardboard or paper pulp,” with an “odd aftertaste,” that was slightly “bitter” and “vegetal,” like “raw seeds” or “grass.”

 

Bob's Red Mill organic steel cut oats finished first.

Exactly!  I'm not sure when the product changed but when I first began buying them perhaps 25-30 years ago, they had a toasty-malty flavor that was very nice.  Prior to that I bought steel-cut oats at a food "co-op" that carried an organic supply in bulk, until the co op was bought by a chain and only sold packaged goods.   I tossed out most of the last can of McCann's and even the birds weren't all that thrilled with it.  Usually grains disappear rapidly but it took days for the oats to be consumed.

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I love Hamlyn's Pinhead Oats and never found McCann's very appealing. But Bob's is cheaper and more available at most of the retail places I shop, and I like it fine. So I go with that, but out of nostalgia still keep it in a Hamlyn's can.

 

Shel, I have also bought the bulk steel cut oats at Berkeley Bowl, and found them not good enough.

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I bought the Hamlyn's because I needed another item to get up to the "free shipping" level and re-ordered a couple of times.  Then I got a free sample of the Flavahan's and then bought them because I like the taste and the texture. 

 

I used them in a recipe for scrapple that specifies pinhead oatmeal and I was quite impressed with the results.  I toasted them first.

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I love Hamlyn's Pinhead Oats and never found McCann's very appealing. But Bob's is cheaper and more available at most of the retail places I shop, and I like it fine. So I go with that, but out of nostalgia still keep it in a Hamlyn's can.

 

Shel, I have also bought the bulk steel cut oats at Berkeley Bowl, and found them not good enough.

 

Thanks for the tip about Berkeley Bowl's oats.  It's hard for me to understand how so simple an ingredient can vary so much in terms of taste and texture.

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For better flavor, I advise toasting the oats prior to soaking, cooking or grinding them. 

 

Because of this thread, I enjoyed a bowl of steel cuts this morning using a simple technique of adding the oats to boiling water and letting them sit overnight, then adding some additional liquid in the morning and cooking the oats for about ten - twelve minutes.  Next time I'd like to try toasting the oats, but I'd like to stay away from cooking them in butter.  Has anyone tried dry toasting the oats, either in a skillet or in the oven?

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I dry toast them (and other grains) in a cast iron skillet - the one I use for cornbread.  It doesn't take long and they have to be constantly stirred - use a wooden spoon. 

You can see the change in color and can smell the aroma. 

 

You can also toast them in the oven but it is a bit trickier because they can get too toasty, too fast and develop a bitterness if you aren't paying attention. 

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Thanks for the tip about Berkeley Bowl's oats.  It's hard for me to understand how so simple an ingredient can vary so much in terms of taste and texture.

What's so hard about it?  Don't wines from different places taste differently?

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So, I made the soda bread with about 100 g steel cut oats soaked in buttermilk along with some rolled oats, blended before adding one egg and mixed with dry ingredients.

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Not bad, only complaint I could smell and taste the baking soda, next time I will cut down and substitute some baking powder

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