Oh, Granola. Again!
Okay, so every recipe on the internet explicitly states that making granola is simple, extremely simple. It’s so simple that it took me numerous times to get it right. The first time I made it, I added all the bells and whistles, which included coconut, coco powder, salt, fruit, nuts, spices and extract. Needless to say, my boyfriend did not like it, and he eats just about anything. However, I already knew it wasn’t a homerun, after I tasted it myself and was left with ultimately having to throwing it out. The next time I made it, which was the following day; the outcome was too dry. Now, totally obsessed and completely driven to nail this granola, an hour later that same day, I whipped up another batch and it was too wet! The following morning, I made it again, much better, finally, something edible, but still not right. So I made ANOTHER batch and yes, if you’re counting, I’m on my fifth batch. Finally, granola that had the right texture and tasted delish too! Whew! Now, I’m about to unleash some secrets that I did not find disclosed on the good old internet. First off, do NOT add salt! It doesn’t need it and leaves a strange after taste. Secondly, after you take your granola out of the oven to cool, if you have quality baking sheets that retain heat, take your granola off the baking sheets, because they will continue to cook. These secrets could be a little obvious to some, but they were not to me. Also, the secret is to finding the combo of wet and dry ingredients. This isn’t always easy because your extra ingredients outside of the oats might not be the same as someone else, which is part of the fun. The whole point to making homemade granola is that you can control the ingredients and customize your granola to your liking!
Here’s a recipe from the armature gourmet blog that I roughly followed and found most helpful:
Easy Homemade Granola
From “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole almonds [Note: I used slivered almonds, and they worked fine.]
1/3 cup whole hazelnuts
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the almonds over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely. Sprinkle the raisins and cherries over the granola…
Transfer it to an airtight container.
The granola will keep for 1 week.