Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Best Granola


It always raises a certain level of high expectations when a recipe calls itself “The Best”. While this granola recipe may seem as any other granola you may find on the web or a cookbook, it is, at least in my opinion, the Best granola I’ve tested so far.

After more than a year, eleven failed granola recipes, and half an hour harassing a local baker about her secret to the perfect granola, I have finally found the one that I can call my favorite. My vision of the perfect Granola was that it had to be crunchy, all natural (no hidden corn syrup), not boring, not too crumbly and not too sweet.

This one is all what I was looking for. It is crunchy, with the right amount of sweetness and pleasantly spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla. There was really nothing to change to the original recipe, but being the inquiring person that I am, I still wanted to experience different possibilities, additions and subtractions to make it my own:

- The recipe calls for a mixture of quick oats and oats flour. I tried it with oats flour, ray flour; buckwheat flour and white whole-wheat flour and I always had better results and texture with the last one. I also subtracted half the amount of flour from the original recipe.

- The addition of nuts is purely personal. I like to put in mine 2 cups of nuts (walnuts and hazelnuts in this one) with ½ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes, for the aroma and taste, and ½ cup of flaxseeds for their subtle nutty flavor and abundance of omega-3 fatty acids.

- Finally I didn’t use mace simply because I couldn’t find it, plus I’ve never had it before.

So here it is! My Favorite Granola in the whole wide world. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do, every morning.

Happy Birthday, Papa!


My Favorite Granola

Recipe: Adapted from here
- ½ lb quick oats
- ¼ lb white whole wheat flour
- 2 oz unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 oz flaxseeds
- 7 oz of coarsely chopped nuts (I use walnuts with almonds or with hazelnuts but you can use whatever you like)
- 1 cup, packed dark brown sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom

Preheat your oven at 300F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, flax seeds, coconut and nuts. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter and water and heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture together until smooth, and then stir in the salt, vanilla and spices. Pour the mixture over the oats mixture and stir well to coat (Doing this with your hands is much better). Let stand for about 10 minutes.

Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet, separating it into irregular clumps with your fingers, and allowing space between the clumps for the hot air to circulate. Slide it into the middle of the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to break up the mixture into medium sized clumps. Return to the oven and bake again for another 15 minutes before stirring again. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the granola is a uniform golden brown and completely dry; this usually takes me about 30-45 minutes from the beginning of baking to finish. Cool completely on a wire rack (out of reach from your companion) before using.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Serve as desired.


Mes Granolas Préférés

In Francais please: Adaptée d’ici
- 250g de flocons d’avoine
- 100g de farine blanche complete
- 50g de graines de lin
- 50g de noix de coco non-sucrée
- 200g de fruits secs de votre choix, grossierement hachés (noix, amandes, noisettes, noix de pecan)
- 115g de beurre
- 200g de sucre brun
- 60ml eau
- ½ c.c de sel marin
- 1 c.c d’extrait de vanille
- ½ c.c de canelle
- ½ c.c de cardamome en poudre

Préchauffer le four a 150C. Dans une jatte profonds, mettre les flacons d’avoine, la farine, les fruits secs, la noix de coco et les graines de lin. Metrre de côté. D’autre part, dans une petite casserole, mettre le sucre, le beurre et l’eau. Mettre sur feu doux et laisser cuire jusqu’à ce que le beurre fonde et que le mélange commence à bouillonner. Mélanger a l’aide d’une cuillere en bois et ajouter sel, vanille et épices et mélanger encore. Verser le mélange de beurre sur les ingredients secs et mélanger (utiliser vos mains pour cette étape, c’est plus efficace). Laisser de côté pendant 10 minutes.

Etaler le mélange de granola en petits domes sur une large plaque allant au four, en faisant en sorte de séparer les domes pour que l’air chaud circule entre eux. Mettre au milieu du four et faites cuire jusqu’à ce que la surface soit dorée, environ 15 minutes. Retirer du four et mélanger délicatement à l’aide d’une cuillere en bois pour detruire les petits domes. Remettre et four pour encore 15 minutes. Ressortir du four et mélanger encore et ceci jusqu’à ce que le granola soit déshydraté et d’une belle couleur dorée. Cela m’a prit environ 30-45 minutes du début de cuisson jusqu’à la fin.

Laisser refroidir sur une grille a pâtisserie avant de servir. Le Granola se conservera dans un bocal à fermeture hermétique a temperature ambiante. Servir au petit déjeuner avec du lait, yaourt et fruits ou selon vos goûts et désir.


Patricia Scarpin said...

I have been thinking of making granola for quite a while now, Warda... This looks so good!

Jasmine said...

Quelle bonne idée! Du granola maison, ce doit être bien meilleur. Je retiens cette recette.

Brilynn said...

I just posted about granola too! So addictive!

Anonymous said...

With GREAT recipes for homemade granola out there, I don't understand why people buy that (usually) dried-out, hard stuff at the grocery store.

Will add your granola recipe to our collection. Thanks for sharing.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've been seeing so many granola recipes over the past week. I guess I'd really better get going on a batch! Your recipe looks wonderful.

Warda said...

- Patricia, thank you my dear. But I must warn you, it's quite addictive.

- Jasmine, meilleur et plus naturel aussi. J'espere que tu aimeras.

- Brilynn, yours looks so good.

- Docchuck, not only most of them are dried-out and all crumbly but they are also ridiculously expensive!
It's my pleasure. Hope you will enjoy it.

- Lydia, thank you very mych. Apparently it's granola week. Who knew? Happy Baking, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. I love granola that is baked in big chunks like yours. So many recipes call for you to simply mix stuff together without much wet ingredients--I hate that! I'll be making your version soon! :)

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Granola is the best! I cannot get enough of it. This post reminds me that I need to try something new!

Cheryl said...

I haven't had granola in the longest time. This looks so good, healthy and delicious.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to have your recipe - all the ones I've tried are too sweet for me as well. This is one recipe I'll be enjoying with my breakfast yogurt - thanks for keeping me on the healthy track, Warda!
-biz, Christine

Wendy said...

What are quick oats, I wonder? Are they like rolled oats perhaps? Will have a look on the net and see what I find. REALLY want to make this.
Did I tell you I love the new banner, by the way? 'Cause I do. :)

Warda said...

- Clumsycook, you are very welcome.I hope this one will be The One. Please, let me know how it goes.

- Meeta, welcome back! You're right about Granola. We've arleady eaten half of it.

- Cheryl, Well, it's never too late. Especially when it comes to Granola. I hope you will enjoy it.

- Christine, I am happy to hear that! Anytime, my dear! That's what friends are for. Biz.

- Wendy, quick oats are like rolled oats but smaller in size. What you can do, if you don't find it, is to pulse rolled oats in a food processor a few times to break them down to about half their original size. You won't have the exact same shape but they will come closer. I hope you will like my version. Please, let me know.
Happy baking!

benas said...

This has also been my favorite granola recipe for the past year or so... I actually posted about it a little while ago:

Wendy said...

Made it (with a few changes to fit what was in my cupboards) and adore it! It's much sweeter than anything I'd usually have for breakfast but some of this sprinkled over a blander cereal is perfect.
Do you mind if I blog about it? With a link back to you, of course. :)

Julie Livermore said...

I just made granola and rice pudding for the first time this week. Your recipes and stories are great.

Rosa said...

Your granola looks gorgeous - as always with your recipes, it's the little details that count! I can never understand why "bought" organic muesli often tastes so stale, and always try to make it myself.

One of my favorite versions is sugar-free, with apple juice and oil. Not as delicious as sweeter granola, perhaps, but great with yogurt and maple syrup.

Warda said...

- Benas, I'll have to try your cashew version next time.

- Wendy, oh! I'm so happy you liked it! Feel free to blog about it. I don't mind at all. But don't foget to lin back to Melissa as well, which is where I had the recipe.

- Julieua, welcome! And thank you very much for your nice comment.

- Rosa, thanks a lot, my dear! Never tought about adding apple juice to the granola instead of brown sugar. It sounds healthier.

rhid said...

I love granolla - and this one with hazelnuts and walnuts looks superb!

Anne said...

I have been making the same old granola recipe for a long while. But, it doesn't compare at all to this one! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I've made it three times now. It's very bad for me! I eat it with everything and don't leave much for my daughters, who also dig it! Thank you!

Warda said...

- Mamashift, Oh! thank you very much! I am so glad you like it! But please, leave a little bit for your daughters ;)

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

As always, you are so generous, Warda. And your photography is absolutely inspiring. May I ask what kind of camera you use? What is your secret?!

Anonymous said...

I love Granola and have always wanted to make a version that is not too sweet. Your recipe sounds perfect.

Thank you for posting it, I'll be making it soon!

Anonymous said...

Yay! I found your recipe back! I moved and haven't been able to find it. I tried other recipes, but nothing's as good! :-)

The baking Dad said...

Hmmmm...I made this granola if that is what you really want to call it. I have another name for it, crushed oatmeal cookies! It was so delicious that it was gone before it was fully cooled. My kids devoured it all and asked for more "crushed cookies". This granola is absolutely amazing!

Homemade Granola said...

Variation is one of the best things about granola. Everyone has their own favorite recipe. Add what you like and forgo what you don't and make it your own. Thanks for the great post.