I'm on a mission to make the perfect homemade granola.
Before I attempt my very own version, I thought I'd follow a few recipes from other, more
experienced bakers and cooks to get a hold of the process, what works and what doesn't.
First up ... Toasted Almond Granola found on Joy the Baker, adapted from Martha Stewart.
Her recipe includes, among other things, two kinds of almonds (sliced and whole), honey
and vanilla. It was so yummy and made a totally respectable granola. I cooked it for the
recommended time, but I think it was a little too much for my oven. I'll shave ten minutes
off the cooking time when I make it again. There were too many whole almonds in it for
David's taste, but I thought it was solid.
the first one up until the point that Ina added three dried fruits and turned them into
bars. I thought they were great! I personally prefer the loose granola for day-to-day
eating, but the bars are fun for when you have company, are traveling or you need to
take something to someone else's house. I mean, how fun would it be to pull these out
on a road trip? They were a little hard when I first cut them (largely, I think, because I
forgot to take them out of the oven right when the timer went off), but they softened
up perfectly after a day of being wrapped in parchment.
Third ... I tried Maple-Nut Granola from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine. It
was definitely the easiest granola of the three in my trial -- made with a more simplified
process and very basic ingredients. So, it took almost no time at all to put together, and
cleanup was a snap. That being said, it also had the least depth of flavor and texture. It
accomplished what granola is supposed to accomplish, but it didn't wow me. Eating it
didn't feel like a special experience, I guess. It would be a really good one to make with
kids though, and it could be easily elevated with more nuts, spices and dried fruit.
This was such a fun way to learn about making granola. Now that I've experimented with
the idea a few times, I think I'm ready to take a crack at creating my own original recipe.
I envision using all kinds of wonderful things like wheat germ, toasted pepitos, cashews,
dates, and more. Stay tuned!