Oat Groats or Pearls are the whole oat grains with the hull removed. The term ‘oat groats’, however, conjures visions of bowls of gruel and many prefer the term “oat pearls”, which is gaining popularity because it sounds more appetizing and exotic. Oat pearls are great in salads and pilafs.
Steel Cut Oats are made by cutting oat pearls into two or three pieces using a sharp steel blade. Steel cut oats have risen in popularity and are considered trendy in some circles. They take longer to cook than rolled oats and have a slightly fuller flavor and texture than rolled oats. When time permits, steel cut oats make the best oatmeal!
Rolled Oats or Old-Fashioned Oats are made by steaming whole oat pearls and then rolling them. This process shortens cooking time compared with steel cut oats. They are the oats used most often in your breakfast oatmeal and for baking.
Quick Oats or Oat Flakes are made by steaming and rolling steel cut oats. They often are considered the least healthy of the oatmeal family but really, like other oat products are made from the whole oat. They are simply processed into smaller pieces to shorten the cooking time. These are the oats found in instant oatmeal products and are also often used in baking.
Oat Flour and Oat Bran are made from grinding oat pearls. The resulting flour is sold as whole oat flour. Separating out the bran from the whole oat flour produces oat bran. The bran is sold separately and the flour without the bran is sold simply as oat flour. Pure oat flour is often used in gluten-free baking.
How to measure dry baking ingredients
Scale by weight
To measure by weight, you need a digital scale. Take the bowl or container that you are going to measure into and place it on the scale and zero out the weight of the container so that it isn’t counted in the measurement. Fill the container to the desired weight.
Graduated measuring cups
Measure dry ingredients like oat flour, sugar, chocolate chips and rolled oats using graduated measuring cups. Fill the measuring cup until it is slightly overfull. Be sure to gently scoop the product you are measuring so that it is not compressed, which results in over-measuring. Use a straight edge, like the back of a knife, to level off the top of the measuring cup.