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Monday, March 23, 2020

Homemade Oat Flour to Substitute for All-Purpose Flour in Baking

The two foods that I can barely keep up with my family's consumption right now are homemade soup and homemade bread. I've been doing what I can to push other grain consumption, such as making more rice and baking batches of granola. Yet, bread still seems to be a favorite around these parts.

While I still have about 15 pounds of white flour (all-purpose flour made from wheat), I've been watching our family's use and have determined that we need to slow down on the white flour consumption. You all know that I bake just about every baked good that my family consumes, from cakes and pies, to breads and tortillas. In the past couple of weeks, we seem to have had a lot of white flour-only baked goods, which began to drain our supply of that flour.

When I bake yeasted bread, I use about a half and half (white and whole wheat) blend of flours. I had a thought the other day to turn some of my almost 25 pounds of rolled oats into flour, to use as a substitute for part of the white flour in making bread. Yeasted bread still needs some of the glutinous flours, so an all-oat bread would be out of the question for me. But I thought I could still use half whole wheat flour, then a quarter oat flour and a quarter of the white flour and turn out a loaf that my family would enjoy. (Homemade 100% whole wheat loaves are not as appreciated by my clan.)

I tried this out on a single, large loaf of French bread on Friday. It turned out great!

To make oat flour, I processed regular rolled oats in my food processor, much like I would for making instant oatmeal, only pulsing until it looked like a fine meal. 

I have the rest of what I processed stored in a container. I'll make a full baking of bread (4 loaves) this afternoon and use this 1/4, 1/4, 1/2 formula for the flours in the dough.

In the long run, substituting oat flour for all-purpose flour would be more expensive than simply using all-purpose flour. However, for my current circumstances of not wanting to venture out to stores while still having a lot of rolled oats that could be used, this is a good solution. It will enable me to stretch out our supply of AP flour for several extra weeks. And my family still gets lots and lots of homemade bread.

By the way, oat flour also makes great scones and muffins. 


  1. What a great idea! AND, we're on the same way of thinking. I have a sourdough starter in my fridge and it's probably about 10 years old. I use WW flour to feed that so I decided to make a couple loaves of bread yesterday. Well, I started getting it ready Saturday. I use a King Arthur bread recipe. A batch makes two loaves and we have declared it the best recipe.

    Could you all pray for my parents. Dad was working outside Sat. afternoon and he was trying to get his grill out of the barn and he fell. He called for mom but she was inside and didn't hear him. He crawled over to his riding lawn mower and flopped over the mowing deck, started it and drove to a neighbor and called for help. They tried to put him in their car to go to the hospital but they couldn't lift him. They got mom from home, then called me and an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital which is exactly ONE MILE from home. They wouldn't let us in and sent us home.

    They called us later and said he broke his right hip and would need surgery and that they would call again with details. We heard nothing and Sunday morning we waited and waited and got NOTHING. One of my brothers called the hospital and found out they did surgery 8 am already and he was out of recover and back in his room and they never bothered to call mom to tell her anything. I AM LIVID! They told us he could "go home in a day or two". Wonder how that's going to happen if they don't bother to call.

    Mom is staying with us until dad goes home and then I'm sure I will need to go there to help so there goes our social distancing.


  2. Oh, Alice. I am so sorry for you and your family right now. I will be praying for you (for strength) and your parents. This must have been and still is so terrible, so worrisome. Can you go stay with them in their home for several weeks? I will be praying. Your poor dad. But what strength he exhibited in getting himself to the neighbor. I am so sorry that this has happened right now for you and your family.
    Take care of yourself and know that you have friends here, praying for you.

  3. Oh Alice. Of all things. I'm so sorry. I think the hospitals are crazy places right now. The no-visitor rule, while necessary, is awful for patients and family. So ... in terms of going home in a day or two .... the hospital will have to have PT and OT assess him to make sure he physically is functioning well enough to go home versus to a rehab facility. My experience is that doctors make all sorts of predictions like that but they don't base it on any kind of reality (i.e. that people need to be able to climb steps into their home, get on and off the toilet, etc.). I don't know what's happening with home care therapy right now .... ugh. What a mess for you. I'll definitely be praying.

    Lili, so funny that you brought up flour consumption today. I have a pretty full jar of yeast but while I was at Meijer this morning, I saw that there was no yeast on the shelves (except for pizza dough yeast). Apparently now everyone has become a bread baker. Ha. I did stock up on a couple more bags of flour, one white, one whole wheat--I have a lot now but the pandemic is really starting to take hold around here and I wanted to be well-supplied for the next month or so. I have used oat flour before and I love it! I also have some recipes which call for oatmeal in the bread. I think it makes the bread more moist and gives it a nice texture--so in my mind, you are offering your family a lovely multi-grain bread experience!

  4. Ha ha, Kris. Yes, we've suddenly become a nation of bread-bakers and preppers, too. I was looking for dried potatoes online and all of the usual bulk or prepper sites are completely sold out of just about all dehydrated foods. I hope that all of these folks who are trying to bake bread for the first time find success and the enjoyment that we've all come to know of freshly-baked bread.

    I'm glad you picked up some flour while you were out. Have a good day, Kris.

  5. Hi, Alice -- I'm so sorry to hear this story. I'll keep your father and your whole family in my prayers, and also pray that the hospital keeps in better contact since you're not allowed to stay there and find things out for yourself.

    I like an all WW loaf, but half and half makes a lovely loaf -- and it's cheaper! :) So, that's a silver lining. Like Kris (Hi, Kris!) I've used some nice recipes with whole old-fashioned oats in them, so you could probably go with them whole or turned to flour, as your family prefers the taste.

    This is the same sort of thought process I know a lot of us are going through. What you have in the house is what you have. It's not that the original price doesn't "matter", but dealing with a mostly-finite combination of ingredients to work with, the things you have a lot of are potentially the ones to spread around the most, if you can figure out how to make them useful in more things. It makes good practical sense, and maybe, too, using the oats in a variety of dishes will make them more enjoyed, as well. I have a couple of cups of oats leftover from the granola I made, and I'm really craving a fruit crisp-- my favorite oat thing. But I think that I will save them for now. I think I might want that more sometime later on when I really need a treat. And if I don't have any fresh fruit at that time, I'll probably still have some canned and/or dried I could mix together to make it work.

    I'm still brain-storming how to use up my overage of masa. LOL

    Take care, everybody! Sara

  6. Hi to you, too, Sara!

    I know what you mean! I'm trying to decide what food items to keep back, as I think that we will appreciate a treat (like a fruit crisp) in a few weeks. I splurged on items that I don't usually buy when I went grocery shopping today--Doritos, M&Ms--and I'm hiding them from my family to bring out when cabin fever hits.

    Lili, I just was on my church's Facebook page and our pastor posted his no-knead recipe--no wonder flour and yeast is in short supply! :) The nice thing about that recipe (which I use all the time) is that it uses a tiny bit of yeast--1/4 teaspoon--so that may be my main go-to in the days ahead.

  7. So very sorry for your Dad and your family to go through this. I am amazed what your Dad did to get help. He's a fighter and survivor, and this strength will be so important to help him do well. I will send you my compassion and positive thoughts.

    We're also rationing it up these days. I told husband we need to lower our standards another notch down. He always asks me what do I want for breakfast and lunch everyday. Out normal choices are on shaky ground, missing ingredients for this and that. So I told him to just make sure we have beans and rice, some veggie, and the rest is extra. It's going to be a challenge to avoid shopping.

    Have a good day,

  8. Alice sorry about your dad's accident. Hopefully he'll feel better soon.

  9. Lili do you think I could add about 1/2c oatmeal flour to a no-knead bread recipe?

  10. Alice, prayers are coming your way for your dad and your family. I went through two broken hips with my mother and it's hard to imagine doing that without being able to be physically there. A difficult situation to be sure. But he's had the surgery and has moved onto recovery. That's a good thing.

    Kris, I'm surprised you found flour. You must have been in the right place at the right time. I was going to pick up some because we were getting low. That was a silly idea because flour seems to be almost as popular as toilet paper.

    Lili, I'm with your family--there's nothing like homemade bread. We don't eat as much bread as we used to, but it is a comfort food that I feel like we might need now. Luckily, we have some in the freezer because, as I told Kris, there is no flour on the shelves. And while I like the oat flour idea, I want to save the oats we have to eat as a cereal.

  11. Lili, et al--

    I didn't think about this when I posted earlier, but I know something yummy I've used oat flour (not in rolled oat form, like I've done with bread in the past). We were once gifted a bag of Kodiak Cakes pancake mix, and because we liked it, DS and I decided to try and replicate it. If you make a regular batch of pancake batter, but use half whole wheat and half oat flour, with honey instead of sugar, it makes a very tasty pancake. :)


  12. Cheryl--yes, you can sub in oat flour in a no-knead recipe--I have a recipe for it--here goes:

    Oat bread:
    2 cups bread flour (or all purpose)
    1 cup oat flour
    1/4 heaping teaspoon yeast
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    (optional) 2/3 cup chopped nuts

    Mix ingredients together, cover (I use foil) and put in a warm place for 8-22 hours, bake at 450* for 35-40 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cool on a rack.

    I hope that helps! It's a delicious bread recipe.

    L&L, our grocery store was reasonably well-stocked yesterday, all things considered. I did buy the more expensive brand of flour as that was all that was available. Meat and produce were both well-stocked.

  13. Hi Sara,
    you put it succinctly -- what we have is simply what we have, regardless of the price we paid for any of it.
    With the masa, have you used it to make corn muffins to go with chili or something like that? I had a bag of masa on my shelf for the longest time. I had bought it for making corn tortillas, then discovered how challenging they can be to make. I would up mixing masa with corn meal for some pretty good corn muffins.
    Good luck with your masa.

  14. Hi Kris,
    do you have a link to your no-knead recipe? Especially as it uses less yeast, that might be a good recipe to have.

  15. Hi YHF,
    We're right there with you on how challenging this is. I keep having these thoughts, like "I should just go down the highway and get some XXX." I think this is a modern world problem, to feel we need to have all of the "right" ingredients for anything we cook. Our ancestors, 100 years ago and further, would have just made something simple with whatever they had, and everyone else they knew did the same. The good thing to remember is this is just temporary. It will pass and we'll be able to buy what we want again someday.

  16. Hi Live and Learn,
    Everyday I hear about something else in short supply at the stores. Since they (the official "theys") keep telling us that there are no problems with the food supply, then at some point, everyone's pantries will be stuffed and people will stop buying up all of the food. But what makes me angry is you can find foods like flour on ebay at significantly marked up prices -- some folks bought up large supplies so they could profit off of others in this trying time. But I'm trying not to think about those COVidiots.
    I agree, saving the oats for cereal in your case is a better use of your oats than turning them into flour. I wonder if oats are in short supply in the stores, too?

  17. Thank you, Kris for the recipe. I should have scrolled down. :-)


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