Pancakes are usually a Sunday treat, but my son has been sick this week and without much of an appetite. He usually loves oat porridge for breakfast, so it was not too difficult to convince him to try my oat flour pancakes! I began making oat flour at home about three years ago when he started eating solid foods. Mostly out of concern after having gestational diabetes myself, I am much more conscious about consuming certain foods. Homemade oat flour is really easy to make. This recipe is a simple adaptation to my crumpets recipe. If you‘ve tried my South African crumpets recipe, I can safely say these oat flour pancakes have the same soft texture as regular flour ones. It’s an ideal gluten-free option too!
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Crumpets vs Flapjacks vs Pancakes
The terms ” crumpets,” “flapjacks,” and “pancakes” can sometimes be used interchangeably depending on the region and context, but there are some differences in their typical preparations and characteristics. Here’s a general breakdown:
- South African Crumpets: In South Africa, crumpets are often similar to what is known as “English crumpets” in other parts of the world. South African crumpets are small, thick, and round, with a texture that is similar to a cross between a pancake and a muffin. They are typically made with flour, baking powder, milk, eggs, and a bit of sugar. South African crumpets are traditionally enjoyed with butter, syrup, or jam.
- Flapjacks: Flapjacks can refer to different types of pancakes depending on the region. In the United States, flapjacks are often synonymous with pancakes—flat, round, and typically made with a batter of flour, milk, eggs, and baking powder. American flapjacks are usually larger and thinner than South African crumpets. However, in some parts of the United Kingdom, “flapjacks” refer to sweet oat bars or slices made with rolled oats, butter, sugar, and sometimes golden syrup.
- Pancakes: Pancakes are a broad term used to describe a variety of flat, round cakes made from a batter and cooked on a griddle or frying pan. Pancakes can have different thicknesses and textures depending on the regional variations and recipes. They are typically made with a mixture of flour, milk, eggs, and a raising agent like baking powder or baking soda. Pancakes can be served with various toppings, such as syrup, fruits, or powdered sugar.
- While there are distinctions between these terms, it’s important to note that their usage can vary across different countries and regions.
Why Use Oat Flour instead of Wheat Flour?
I have tried other flour-less variants using rice flour, but find the texture a bit too grainy for making
pancakes. Oat flour works best so far. Oat flour is gluten-free so does require a rising agent e.g baking powder.
There are several reasons why someone might choose to make oat flour pancakes instead of traditional flour pancakes:
- Dietary restrictions: Oat flour pancakes are a suitable alternative for those who follow a gluten-free diet or have celiac disease, as oats are naturally gluten-free (but cross-contamination can occur, so it’s important to choose certified gluten-free oat flour if necessary).
- Health benefits: Oats are rich in dietary fibre, which can help promote healthy digestion and keep you feeling fuller for longer. They also contain beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Lower glycemic index: Oats have a lower glycemic index compared to refined wheat flour. This means that oat flour pancakes can cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels, providing more sustained energy and potentially preventing spikes and crashes in blood sugar.
- Flavour and texture: Oat flour imparts a distinct flavour and slightly heartier texture to pancakes. Some people enjoy the nutty taste and denser texture that oat flour brings, adding variety to their breakfast routine. For a complete list of benefits take a look at this interesting article by Women’s World.
How to Make Oat Four at Home
Making oat flour at home is a straightforward process. Here’s a simple method to make oat flour:
Ingredients for Oat Flour
1 cup Rolled oats (old-fashioned oats or quick oats)
- Start by measuring the amount of oat flour you need. You can grind any quantity you desire, depending on your recipe requirements.
- Place the oats in a blender or a food processor. Make sure to use a dry container or attachment for grinding.
- Pulse or blend the oats on high speed until they turn into a fine powder. This process usually takes about 30 seconds to a minute. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the container to ensure even grinding.
- After grinding, check the texture of the oat flour. If it feels coarse or there are visible larger pieces, blend for a few more seconds until you achieve a finer consistency. The goal is to obtain a flour-like texture.
- Once the oat flour is ground to your desired consistency, it is ready to be used in your recipes. You can store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for several weeks.
- Note: Oat flour can also be made by purchasing pre-packaged rolled oats labelled as “oat flour.” This saves you the step of grinding it yourself, but if you have regular rolled oats at home, you can easily turn them into oat flour with the above method.
- Keep in mind that homemade oat flour may have a slightly coarser texture compared to store-bought versions. If you require a finer texture for your recipe, you can sift the oat flour through a fine-mesh sieve after grinding to remove any larger pieces.
Egg-free Oat Pancakes
For an egg-free version, add ¼ cup of yoghurt instead of the egg and a pinch of baking powder. This will result in a soft pancake texture.
Oat Flour Pancakes Recipe
Why this Oat Flour Pancake Recipe Works
- Healthier Alternative: These pancakes are made with oat flour, which adds a whole grain element and provides more fibre and nutrients compared to traditional white flour pancakes.
- Natural Sweetness: The ripe mashed banana in the recipe adds natural sweetness, reducing the need for additional sweeteners. It also adds moisture and a delightful flavour to the pancakes.
- Customizable: You can easily customize this recipe to suit your preferences. You can add vanilla extract, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or any other desired mix-ins to make your pancakes even more delicious.
- Simple and Easy: The recipe is straightforward and doesn’t require any complex techniques or lengthy preparation. It’s perfect for a quick and healthy breakfast or brunch.
Oat Pancake FAQ
- Can I use regular wheat flour instead of oat flour? Yes, you can substitute wheat flour for oat flour if desired. However, keep in mind that the nutritional profile and texture of the pancakes will be different.
- Can I use unripe bananas? Ripe bananas are preferred as they are sweeter and easier to mash. Unripe bananas may not provide the same level of natural sweetness and may affect the texture of the pancakes
- Can I make the oat flour pancake batter ahead of time? It’s best to make the batter fresh, as the baking powder may lose its effectiveness if left for too long. However, you can prepare the dry ingredients in advance and combine them with the wet ingredients just before cooking.
- Can I freeze oat flour pancakes? Yes, these pancakes freeze well. Allow them to cool completely, then stack them with parchment paper in between each pancake to prevent sticking. Store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 1 month. Reheat them in a toaster or microwave when ready to serve.
- Can I use a different type of milk like soya or almond milk? Yes, you can use any milk of your choice, such as dairy milk, almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. The type of milk may slightly affect the taste and texture of the pancakes.
Remember to experiment and adjust the recipe according to your preferences for the perfect oat flour pancakes. Enjoy!