Monday, May 13

if at first you don't succeed...

After about 10 attempts of this granola recipe -- I've lost track of how many batches I've made over the past month -- I have finally got it to my satisfaction. Crunchy. Just slightly chewy. Big clusters that break apart easily. The perfect touch of brownness.

The proportions and taste of the original was perfect, especially since I had omitted cinnamon from the recipe because I'm not a huge fan of it, but I've tweaked it to get clusters without the use of egg white.

Tip: The trick is to press and pack the mixture into the pan and don't touch it till it is fully cooled into a huge slab, which you can then break into whatever size clusters you desire.
Bonus: No tiresome and potentially messy stirring at the halfway point of baking.
Warning: This granola is dangerously addictive. Everyone that I've given it to has asked for more.

3 cups (240g) rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 cup (50g) dessicated coconut
1 cup walnuts (100g), coarsely chopped (I tried pecans in one batch, but walnuts were tastier and cheaper)
1/4 cup (25g) wheat germ (I didn't toast them, as per the recipe, and no harm was done)
2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (120ml) maple syrup

Preheat oven to 150 deg C (300 deg F). Line a large tray with baking paper (aluminium foil works too, but the final product will stick slightly to it and FOIL your attempts to get huge chunks).

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Get your hands dirty.

Pour the mixture onto the lined tray and press it down evenly. Use your entire body weight.

Pop into oven for about an hour. Rotate the tray at the halfway point so it browns evenly. Check on it five to 10 minutes before the time is up, in case your oven runs hotter than mine and it burns. When the surface feels dry and not sticky, looks a nice shade of brown and smells totally irresistible, turn off the oven and let it cool inside for a bit. You can also cool the tray on the countertop if you simply cannot wait.

When it is completely cool, break it into chunks and store in an airtight container or fridge. You can also add a cup of dried fruit. Dried cranberries go well, but this granola is pretty good all by itself. It should be able to keep for two weeks, although that has yet to happen. Mine is always gone within days.