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How To Make Oat Flour | Quick Oats

How To Make Oat Flour | Quick Oats

Learn how to make oat flour and quick oats from old fashioned rolled oats and save money by doing the simple processing yourself. Then put that gluten free oat flour to good use in some of our best recipes.

Image of homemade oat flour and quick oats made from rolled oats.

Why you should process your own oats

We’re beginning with lightly processed rolled oats, no whole oat groats. We won’t be removing the husks, steaming them, and rolling them flat. Let’s leave that to the professionals.

When you buy quick oats, they’re only slightly more processed than rolled oats. Oat flour is just rolled oats ground into a fine powder.

If you buy them already further processed, you’re paying for someone else to do that processing. Plus, you then have to keep a pantry stocked with even more flours. We just don’t need that in our lives!

But oats are amazing for baking as an added ingredient for extra texture and flavor. And having lightly processed rolled oats, slightly more processed quick oats, and more processed oat flour makes them even more versatile. But there’s no need to pay anyone else to do it for you.

Raw oats are chewy

Unlike most other whole grains like rice, rolled oats are chewy when raw. Have you ever tried to bite into an uncooked grain of rice? It’s awful.

You can eat raw rolled oats and they’re chewy. They may taste a little grassy, but they’re not going to break your teeth like rice feels like it might.

Not only do rolled oats begin as chewy, but when we bake with oats, we’re actually happy for their chewiness. That means that we don’t need oats to be ground superfine.

What equipment do we use to make oat flour and quick oats?

I do have a grain mill to occasionally make homemade rice flour, but I never bother to use it to make oat flour. It’s just not important to make superfinely ground oat flour.

Image of homemade quick oats in a lidded jar.

How to make quick oats from whole oats

To make quick oats, you want to work in small batches, and use a food processor. That’s the only way I’ve found to gently process your rolled oats without turning them into a powder.

If you place oats in a blender, like we do for oat flour, it’s really hard to control the processing. Before you know it, you’ll have oat flour.

But if you pulse rolled oats a couple times in any food processor, the bottom layer will become a bit more processed. Shake the canister to redistribute, then pulse again. Resist the urge to keep going or you’ll have oat flour.

No food processor?

If you don’t have a food processor, you can make sorta-quick oats by scattering rolled oats on a cutting board and roughly chopping them. Don’t use your blender, though!

Image of lidded glass jar with homemade oat flour

How to make oat flour from whole oats

If you want to make oat flour, you’ll need a blender. Working in slightly larger batches of rolled oats, place them in your blender and process until they turn into a fine powder.

You’ll know that your oats are finely ground enough when they begin to clump in the blender. If you process them too much, the oats will release oils and become a bit sticky. Don’t overprocess.

Only have a food processor, but no blender?

If you only have a food processor, you can process your rolled oats for longer and they will turn into flour. You’ll find a lot of orphaned larger pieces though. Just sift them out and process them again.

How to bake with oat flour and quick oats

We begin with purity protocol gluten free oats that have been grown on dedicated fields, and stored and processed in dedicated gluten free facilities. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but GF Harvest is an only-gluten free oats brand that I would also trust.

You  may not be comfortable eating oats on a gluten free diet. Or you may live in a country where no oats are considered gluten free. You’ll want to learn how to substitute oats in gluten free baking.

For everyone else (me included!), this is why we’re learning to store whole grain rolled oats, and process them for baking when we need them. There’s no need ever to buy anything more than lightly processed rolled oats.

Can you substitute oat flour for all purpose flour?

No, you can’t. Oat flour is an incredibly useful whole grain flour that you can make easily at home, and it has many uses. But it cannot be used as an all purpose flour, in gluten free or conventional baking.

Like all gluten free grains made into flour, no single flour can be used as an all purpose gluten free flour. But oat flour can be used to make its own, incredibly delicious and nutritious cookies, muffins and no bake treats.

Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies baked on a tray.

These naturally gluten free peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are made with oats, oat flour and some cornstarch for the perfect chewy cookie. Oat flour alone isn’t a substitute for a rice flour-based all purpose gluten free flour blend, but these cookies don’t even need a flour blend.

Oatmeal breakfast cookies baked on a tray, one cookie broken in half

These oatmeal breakfast cookies are naturally gluten free, and sweetened only with honey and a bit of applesauce. They’re made with both rolled oats, and oat flour. Using oat flour really helps bind the cookies together and keep the texture lighter.

Image of banana oatmeal muffins baked and displayed on a platter.

Banana breakfast muffins are made with whole oats ground into flour, but you can grind the oats before or with all the other ingredients. If you grind the oats into oat flour first, you don’t have to make the rest of the batter in a blender which makes for easier clean-up.

 
Image of homemade oat flour in jar and cookies and muffins made with oat flour.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Yield: About 1 cup oat flour

Ingredients

Ingredient
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (110 g) old fashioned rolled oats (certified gluten free, if necessary)

Equipment
Simple food processor for quick oats

Simple blender for oat flour

Directions

  • To make quick oats, place the rolled oats in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Cover and pulse the oats quickly two times, then shake the bowl back and forth to redistribute the oats. Pulse again twice more, shake the bowl again, and inspect the oats to determine if they need to be pulsed again. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and place in a cool, dry pantry until ready to use.

  • To make oat flour, place the rolled oats in the canister of your blender. Cover, and blend the oats until the oats turn to a powder (about 45 seconds). Continue blending until the grains of oat flour begin to fall off in clumps (about another 30 seconds). If you’re concerned about any oat pieces, sift the flour. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and place in a cool, dry pantry until ready to use.

Love,
Nicole

  • Jody
    May 24, 2020 at 5:44 PM

    I’ve just started GF cooking for my daughter & have many Q’s…….. ex: reading the first sentence of this page it says to use “old fashioned rolled oats”…. OK, I know what that is. I have a box of Quaker Oats in my pantry. But 1/2 way down the page it says something about using GF oats. How do I determining if they are GF oats? I don’t know what to look for at the supermarket. Help!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 24, 2020 at 6:10 PM

      Hi, Jody, I actually have a whole post about whether oats are gluten free. Oats are not a gluten-containing grain, but they are frequently contaminated with gluten. That’s why you want oats that are grown on dedicated fields, stored in dedicated silos, and processed in a gluten free facility.

  • Randi Jonasson
    May 24, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    I just bought your gf on a shoestring book on amazon. I think my next will be the bread book. Is Amazon the best place to get your books or can we order direct through you? Love your recipes.

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 24, 2020 at 12:58 PM

      Hi, Randi, I don’t sell them directly myself since they were published with a traditional publisher so I don’t even own them unless I buy one.🙂 You can buy it on Amazon, or your local bookstore. If they don’t have it in stock, they can always order it for you, and then you’re supporting your local business! Thank you for your interest.

  • Marilyn Stark
    May 21, 2020 at 4:30 PM

    I would like your recipe for gluten free blueberry muffins

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 21, 2020 at 8:13 PM

      Please use the search function, Marilyn! All the recipes are here for the taking.

  • Amy
    May 20, 2020 at 5:32 PM

    Nicole, this post could not be more timely! I’m making your oat bread from your baking book and am about to process my own oat flour. Excited to have this insight before I begin! Your book and your methods have CHANGED MY LIFE and I am so grateful for the richness I’ve been able to bring back into my home through baking. I so appreciate your hard work and expertise, and especially your willingness to share with the world! Cheers!

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 20, 2020 at 8:24 PM

      Oh my gosh, Amy, please don’t tell my husband. He begs me for that bread, and somehow I always get sidetracked! Thank you so much for your kind words, and warmth. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the process of bread baking. It can be such a joy, especially right now. 🥰

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