I have done a lot of fussing with granola recipes. I wasn’t able to find one that I liked (crunchy, clumps that don’t dissolve at the sight of milk, not too sweet). So I was forced to fiddle until I found a method that I liked. The procedure I’ve arrived at is, admittedly, not the most direct. First the oats and seeds are toasted, then the whole mix is baked a second time at a lower temperature. Yes, it’s a little bit fussy, but the end product is well worth the bother. I was inspired to make this particular granola after baking some wonderful seeded German ryes. I thought that the hearty seeds and spices would translate perfectly into granola. The seeds also make this granola a perfect exemplar of a home-made, cost conscious product (nuts are really the only expensive ingredient in granola; seeds are a fraction of the cost). To really save money, look for a store that sells grains and seeds in bulk; they are almost always cheaper. While I have worked out several tasty granola flavors, this is the one that I can eat every day and never get sick of. It tastes like what those packages of whole-grain-oat-honey-seed-nut bread should taste like but never do.

The barley malt in this recipe gives it a hearty, bread-like quality. Look for barley malt on the counters of your health food store near the molasses. I like my granola with fresh fruit, but if you like dried fruit, go ahead and mix it in after the granola has cooled.


Ingredients:

4c. oats
4T. butter, melted
1c. wheat germ
1 1/4 c. seeds (any mixture of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flax and poppy seeds.)

2/3c. sugar
1/3c. water
1T barley malt
1tsp whole coriander seeds
1/2tsp fennel seeds
zest of 1 orange (or 3/4t. powdered orange peel)

1/2tsp Kosher salt
1/4c. All Purpose Flour
1egg

Yield:

2 quarts

Toast Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss the rolled oats with the melted butter. Spread oats on a sheet tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. On a separate sheet toast sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds for 8-10 minutes. Stir each sheet once to achieve even toasting. Reduce oven heat to 300 F.

Prepare Seasoning and Sugar Solution:

Finely grind coriander and fennel in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestel. Bring the sugar, water, spices, orange zest and barley malt just to a boil and turn off the heat. Set aside.

Mix:

Place oats, seeds, wheat germ, salt and flour in the processor*. (This recipe will fit into an 11 cup food processor). Process in batches if you have a smaller processor or are making a double batch. Pulse five or six times for a few seconds. Add sugar mixture and egg. Pulse the food processor until the liquid is evenly distributed.

Second Baking:

Grab handfuls of the granola, squeezing and breaking the mixture into walnut sized clumps onto your sheet tray. Bake at 300 F for 30 min, stirring once — the granola might get a slight golden hue, but do not wait for it to turn visibly brown. Let cool. Store in airtight container for up to a month.

*If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make this recipe. The clumps will not be quite as solid, but you’ll still have a lovely granola. Just stir the sugar mixture and egg into the oats by hand.

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