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Monday, July 19, 2010

Huge Success - Homemade Granola!

Granola

Last year, I decided that I'd make my own granola. Michael fell in love with the granola at our favorite breakfast place near my mom and step father's house in Massachusetts, and there is simply nothing store bought that even comes close.

For some reason, when I made the granola last year, I decided to follow Mark Bittman's recipe. Now, don't get me wrong. I love Mark Bittman, and I love most of his SAVORY recipes. But for sweet stuff? I just never have success. So... I made some mediocre granola last year, and then I gave up.

When I spotted Molly Wizenberg's granola recipe in last month's Bon Appetit, I was intrigued. It was made differently from Bittman's version, and her description of its wonders was VERY convincing. I decided to give it a try. One of the perks of her recipe is that it encourages a lot of experimentation.

I made my first version yesterday, and I absolutely adore it. I already have ideas for riffs on the recipe next week, and I think I might cook it for 5-7 minutes less, but other than that, it is total breakfast (or snack) perfection.

Best Homemade Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw pecans, smashed up
3 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Dump the first nine ingredients into a giant bowl and combine well with your hands, making sure the brown sugar breaks up. In a small saucepan, heat the honey and the oil until it is smooth and liquidy. Add the honey mixture to the oats and stir until the dry ingredients are all coated.

On a large baking sheet lined with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper, spread out the granola into a thin layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Pull out of the oven and press down to set a bit. After the granola is cool, break it up into chunks and place into an airtight container.

Serve with milk or (my favorite) plain Greek yogurt, topped with fresh berries.

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