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Oatmeal pancakes immediately conjures up the idea of something thick and heavy that does not sound like it might be remotely appealing on a breakfast table. This could not be further from the truth when you end up grinding your own oat flour for these super light, almost fluffy pancakes from Smitten Kitchen. It is also true that most people are too lazy to come up with a decent breakfast spread, though it is repeatedly claimed to be the single most important meal of the day. I tend to agree that early morning may not exactly be the best time to spend in the kitchen unless you happen to run a boulangerie or likewise. Pancake batter, however, has the advantage of being prepared in advance and stored in the fridge until ready for use, making it convenient for early and late risers to enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast.

OATMEAL PANCAKES

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (90 grams) oat flour

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt

1/2 cup cooked quick-cooking oatmeal

1 cup lukewarm water + 1 pinch salt

3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (295 ml) whole milk

1 tablespoon (20 grams) molasses

2 large eggs, room temperature

Method:

  • To make oat flour, pulse rolled oats into a food processor or spice grinder until finely ground.

  • Whisk dry ingredients (oat flour, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) together in a large bowl.

  • In a small bowl, whisk butter, milk, cooked oatmeal, honey and eggs together until combined.

  • Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ones. Using a light hand is important for tender pancakes.

  • Although best if it’s used immediately, the batter can even be kept overnight in the refrigerator.

  • The batter should be slightly thick with a holey surface. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan or griddle.

  • Heat over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Lower to medium-low.

  • Working quickly, dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter onto pan, shaping 2 or 3 pancakes at a time.

  • Once bubbles have begun to form, flip pancake over and cook till bottom is dark golden-brown.

  • Serve hot, straight from the skillet or keep them warm in a low oven. Makes about 18 pancakes.

Oatmeal Pancakes

For the August challenge Susan from The Kiwi Cook dared us to make a Seed & Nut Loaf, a super-healthy and gluten-free alternative to standard wheat-based bread. The theme of both challenges this month is ‘whole and healthy’! It is a gorgeously dense and nutty whole-wheat bread with lots of taste and texture along with masses of protein and fibre but without gluten. It may be slathered with all sorts of delicious toppings, from avocado and tomato, to salmon and cream cheese, to home-made nut butter and mashed banana.

The psyllium husk is the ingredient that binds the loaf together in the absence of flour. If you use ground flax seeds instead of whole, you will need to add more water to the mixture. Oats are inherently gluten-free, however they can be cross-contaminated with wheat. If you are gluten-sensitive, ensure your oats are certified ‘gluten-free’. Buckwheat or spelt flakes make a good alternative. While you can use any nut, it is best to chop them finely; if the nuts are too big, it is harder for the loaf to hold together and you might end up with a crumbly loaf.

GLUTEN-FREE SEED & NUT LOAF

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 ml) (140 gm) ( 5 oz) sunflower seeds

½ cup (125 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) flax seeds (linseeds)

½ cup (125 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) sliced almonds

1½ cups (375 ml) (135 gm) (4¾ oz) gluten-free rolled oats

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (20 gm) (¾ oz) chia seeds

4 tablespoons (60 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) psyllium seed husks

1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) fine grain sea salt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup or liquid honey

3 tablespoons (45 ml) coconut oil or ghee, melted

1½ cups (375 ml) water

Method:

  • In a standard sized silicone, non-stick, or greased and lined loaf pan, combine all the dry ingredients.
  • Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a separate bowl. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients.

  • Combine until it is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick. Transfer mixture to the loaf pan.
  • Smooth top and cover pan with plastic wrap. Sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • The mixture should feel very firm to the touch. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F or gas mark 4.
  • Bake bread initially for 20 minutes. Take the loaf out of the oven, place a wire rack over top and invert.

  • Remove bread from pan and remove the lining paper if using. Put inverted loaf on its rack in the oven.
  • Bake the bread again for another 30 to 40 minutes. The loaf should be starting to brown on the outside.

  • This gives a nutty crunch to the finished loaf. It should sound hollow when tapped. Cool it completely.
  • Slice with a fine serrated knife and store in an airtight container (or in plastic wrap) for up to 4-5 days.

Daring Bakers August 2015 Challenge

If you like your cookies thick and chewy, this recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective, is the one to remember. If you have never baked your own cookies before, I would urge you to have a peek at The Science of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies which explicitly covers every aspect of a home baked cookie that a novice cookie baker should strive to master. Of course, there is no better way to find out how far the expert advice stands true than to head towards your kitchen and get your hands messy. Making cookies from scratch is, apparently, much less forgiving than cake baking or stovetop cooking. The ratio, quality and temperature of ingredients that go in your final cookie dough will affect everything from its appearance [love at first sight] to its texture [love at first bite] but the whole fun lies in experimenting, right?

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

6 tablespoons quick oats

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

3/8 cup unsalted butter, melted

6 tablespoons light muscovado sugar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, room temperature

200g dark chocolate, chopped

100g pecan nuts, chopped

Method:

  • Place the oats in the food processor. Process until finely ground. Dump sugars and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer.

  • Turn on low and add the melted butter, mix to combine. With the mixer running, pour in egg. Add baking soda and salt.

  • Slowly add the flour and powdered oatmeal. Scrap the bowl and mix to combine, then fold in chopped chocolate and nuts.

  • Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Place equal 2 – 2 1/2 tablespoon portions of the cookie dough on the baking sheets 3 inches apart using a cookie scoop.

  • Bake until the edges are golden, but the centers look slightly under baked for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven.

  • Cool on the cookie sheets until firm enough to pick up. Store in an airtight cookie container. Makes 3 dozen large cookies.

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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