Oats in muffins and oatmeal in muffins are two completely different things. Oats are a dry ingredient; oatmeal is a wet ingredient. Today we’re making OATMEAL muffins with oatmeal as the base.
Testing this recipe was massively interesting. If you look at this photo, you can see the vast difference between the two muffins in both color and height. Not pictured is the taste variation. The squat muffin on the left was wet and spongey. The tall muffin on the right was hearty, delicious, all the glorious thing I listed above.
What’s fascinating is that there is only 1 small difference between the two and that difference is 20 minutes of time!!! On the left, all of the ingredients were mixed together in the bowl. The batter was thin and messy and all the excess liquid over-browned and over-moistened the muffin. On the right, I let the oats soak in milk for 20 minutes before mixing the batter together. The batter was thicker, creamier, stronger, rose taller, and browned evenly. I should’ve known the left muffin wouldn’t bake up properly. The best, tallest muffins begin with thick batter. Thick batter is strong enough to rise straight up and not pour over the sides. And, more importantly, thick batter helps produce a satisfying muffin texture.
So how does that translate into the recipe directions? Begin with 1 cup of whole oats, pour 1 cup of milk on top, mix the two together, and let the oats soak up the milk for 20 minutes. It won’t actually be the consistency of oatmeal because we aren’t cooking the two together, but the oats will rise to the top of the bowl. Don’t do this the night before or rush to do this in only 5 minutes. Only soak for 20 minutes. During that time, get all your other ingredients ready and preheat the oven.
Source: Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins