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Can I Use Rolled Oats in Place of Millet Flour in Bread?

by Carol Butler

Small and yellowish in color, millet is a small-seeded grain mostly produced in India, known for being high in magnesium and gluten-free. Rolled oats come from hulled oats that have been steamed, flattened, cut and dried, and because still they contain the bran, sperm and endosperm, are an easily available whole-grain food source. Both millet and oats are a fast cooking whole-grain breakfast cereal and both can be ground into flour to use in quick breads and yeast breads.

Gluten Factor

Millet flour is a 100 percent gluten free and often mixed with other flours such as rice to make gluten free bread. While oats are a naturally gluten free grain, the Whole Grains Council advises people with gluten allergies to look for oats certified as gluten-free due to the gluten contamination that occurs during the growing and processing of oats. When substituting rolled oats for millet flour in bread, the resulting bread may or may not be gluten free.

Quick Bread

To substitute rolled oats for millet flour in quick bread, first grind the rolled oats into flour. Use a blender, coffee grinder or food mill and process the rolled oats for about 60 seconds until they are of flour consistency. 1 ¼ cups of rolled oats will yield 1 cup of flour. In quick bread recipes calling for millet flour, the oat flour can replace the millet cup-for-cup. Oats have a slightly sweeter taste and the flour is off-white, as opposed to yellow, like millet.

Yeast Bread

To replace rolled oats for millet flour in yeast breads, grind the rolled oats as described above. The oat flour can replace the millet cup-for-cup. Should you wish to make other replacements in the recipe using your oat flour, be advised that because of its low gluten content as compared to wheat flour, oat flour should not make up more than 25 percent of the total flour used. Sprinkling a handful of rolled oats (not ground) over the loaf of bread before baking will prevent over-browning and add a decorative touch.

Other Uses

Rolled oats can also be used in burgers and meatloaf much like soft breadcrumbs. They can provide a crispy coating for chicken and be served as a savory side dish. In the food industry, oats are used as a stabilizer in ice cream and in cosmetics due to their anti-itching properties. Only 5 percent of oats grown in 2013 will be used for human consumption.

About the Author

For more than 10 years, Carol Butler has run a small, off-grid furniture business with her husband and is a regular contributor to the Edible community of magazines. As staff writer for RichLife Advisors, she covers financial planning and other industry-related topics. She holds a B.F.A. in theater arts.

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