09 February 2009
This recipe originally came from Susie Castleberry, by way of Mary Pride's old HELP newsletter. I've tweaked it a bit.
8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (I've substituted rolled wheat and barley for two cups each of the oats; they add an extra bit of texture to the finished granola - have to find new sources for them, but I have a few ideas)
1 cup almonds, sliced or slivered
1 cup coconut, shredded
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 250˚.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (I use my hands - easier to break up the brown sugar and I get to play with my food). Add the vanilla to the melted butter, then add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are uniformly moistened.
Pour out onto two jelly roll pans (I use my jelly roll stone and my 9x9" square stone and my 9" round stone; before I had stones, I'd use a metal jelly roll pan (ie: cookie sheet) and a pizza pie pan). Bake at 250˚ for 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200˚ and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans. When cool, break apart and store in an air-tight container. I have no idea how long it'll be good, we usually go through it in just a few days.
Butter-Maple: Substitute grade B maple syrup for the honey and maple sugar for half the brown sugar. Add 1 tablespoon buttery sweet dough bakery emulsion or butter flavoring (here or here) You can also add maple flavor.
Valencia Orange: Add 2 tablespoons dried Valencia orange peel (or fresh orange zest) with the dried ingredients and orange bakery emulsion or orange extract with the vanilla. I use orange blossom honey for this when possible, instead of the clover honey I buy in bulk at Costco.
Cinnamon and Spice: Add 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon mace, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves to the dry ingredients.
In the crockpot: Instead of baking it, I'll put a batch into the crockpot on low for about 4 hours, stirring whenever I begin to smell it. This gives a bit of a different texture as it doesn't clump up as much as when it's baked, but it's still good and I can make three batches at a time: one in the oven and one in each crockpot.
You could add different kinds of nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or whatever. I've seen recommendations for dried fruit, too (we're not much on dried fruit here, except dried bing cherries). We like ours a bit on the simple side and would rather play with flavours than textures. I used mixed grain cereal from the healthfood market, but I didn't like the taste that the sunflower seeds gave the finished granola.
I'm looking for a recipe to turn this into crunchy granola bars. I've lost the recipe that was in that original newsletter. I'll post it once I find one we like.