Baked Sunday Mornings: Digging a homemade granola


The timing for making the Easy Homemade Granola for Baked Sunday Mornings couldn’t have been more perfect. First off, the word “easy,” after weeks of holiday cookie and candy making, made my flour-dusty apron strings untangle. Secondly, after weeks of holiday cookie and candy making, the idea of something more healthful (as is always a consideration as New Year’s approaches),was mighty appealing. Third, I LOVE granola, and it has long been on my bucket list of things. And fourth (as if I needed any more reasons at this point), I had, unbelievably, all the ingredients for this granola already in my kitchen! Can you believe it?!?

If it sounds strange that I had dried cherries, whole almonds and even hazelnuts already at the ready, it’s because I’d gathered up these items for other things I’d made (fruitcake, spiced nuts, biscotti) in recent times. So I was delighted to assemble everything on a cold morning to put it all together for this recipe (you’ll find it here: http://bakedsundaymornings.com/2018/12/21/in-the-oven-easy-homemade-granola/), from “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito (2008).

Rolled oats (I used extra thick-cut oats from Bob’s Red Mill)), are first tossed with cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

Vegetable oil, honey (I used a local blackberry honey), brown sugar and vanilla are whisked together as the potent “sauce” that will coat the oats.

The granola is tossed and coated by gathering and “squeezing” the mixture in your hands to ensure all the oats are completely covered in the honey/oil coating.

Then, all is spread on a parchment-lined sheet pan and given a 10-minute baking in the oven. Aromatherapy — via oats, vanilla, cinnamon and honey — ensued.

The sheet pan of granola is removed from the oven and given a “flip” with a large metal spatula to ensure evenness while cooking. The whole almonds are added, then all is returned to the oven for another short baking period.

After the granola with almonds is baked, and the granola is turned with the spatula again, the hazelnuts are added. Here, I put my own spin (and some additional nuts) on things, by also adding whole walnuts, which I love in granola. All is returned to the oven for a final toasting.

The baked granola, a deep golden brown, is given a chance to cool for a bit. When I lifted the edges, I was pleased to see that the granola was fused together on the sheet pan, which meant that, when broken apart, there would be crunchy clumps, like you find in all good granolas!

Once the granola is cooled, you add dried cherries and raisins. While the recipe calls for golden raisins, I’m more partial to the traditional kind and used those instead. 

My first nibble of the completed Easy Homemade Granola pleased me immensely. It had the proper level of crunch, and tasted just right, not too sweet, spiced nicely with the cinnamon and honey and, I believe, the key successful ingredient to this recipe was the one teaspoon of salt. It brings the level of flavor up to a higher note.

I would be enjoying this batch as my morning cereal or sprinkled on yogurt or just crunched as a snack through the New Year. It wouldn’t last long, but, as easy as it is to make, I’d bake some more, and maybe even package some up for family and friends.

Blogger’s Note: The recipe for Easy Homemade Granola can be found at Baked Sunday Mornings: http://bakedsundaymornings.com/2018/12/21/in-the-oven-easy-homemade-granola/.

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