Some food, some drink.
The Golden Ratio of Granola
Abstract: If you glean nothing more from this post (and you adore granola like I do), know that great fabulous granola can be had with:
- A digital scale
- 4 parts rolled oats
- 1 part liquid sugar
- 1 part dry (granular) sugar
- 1 part fat
- 2 parts pre-bake mix-ins (like nuts and grains)
- 2 part post-bake mix-ins (like dried fruit & chocolate)
ALL MEASURED BY WEIGHT!
few months ago, I read Michael
Ruhlman's book Ratio cover-to
cover. I never read a cookbook cover-to cover, much less start from
the beginning; but that slick illustration on the front cover had me
wanting for a complete understanding. Truth is, I discovered I've
been cooking this way for quite awhile & just never had the
method put on rails for me. We right-brainers gotta do it and
see it, otherwise we're pretty
worthless at following instructions.
Armed with my trusty digital scale (seriously, y'all have a digital scale, right?), I threw together a batch of granola and reviewed my notes (Take notes people! How you gonna learn?). Upon observation, I noticed I was darn near some equivalency in proportions; i.e.- a ratio. So yeah; why not a granola ratio as well? Granola is infinitely variable & everyone's got their own favorite ingredients. Don't like coconut? Try some flax seed (hell, try both). Fruit? Chocolate? Whatever. As long as you stick close to the proportions & take the time to measure, it's hard to mess up. The recipe I'm listing is the way I happened to make last time (it turned out so well, it became my go-to gift at Christmas!). Please do modify and let me know what you come up with.
Recipe: Jump to the detailed recipe. (or, keep reading for the gist of it) -
Pre-bake mix-ins (6 oz total)
Post-bake mix-ins (6 oz total)
Preheat oven to 300F.
Dump honey, sugar, salt, allspice & cinnamon into a saucepan & stir on medium heat until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add oil & slowly whisk together until (mostly) combined (Be careful! this stuff is HOT).
Pour into oats & pre-bake mix. Spread evenly onto a parchment(or silpat)-lined 1/2 sheet pan. Bake 45 mins, stirring every 15 mins. When nicely brown & nutty smelling, remove pan from oven, stir in post-bake stuff, press into pan & let cool on sheet pan. When cool, store in something airtight for up to a week, or freeze if storing longer.
Observation: In one
iteration, I went with demerara sugar because I wanted that raw
sugar flavor. It was a real pain the the ass to get it to dissolve
completely, hence the plain white sugar this time around. That said,
I might use a cone of panela
On another note, you don't wanna rush this stuff in the oven. A lot of what you're working with has pretty low smoke points. Burnt granola is still better than no granola, but we're talking about shaving off 15-20 minutes tops here. I mention this because I learned it the hard way. My burnt granola came courtesy of cast iron on a gas grill, where temperature is a bit harder to control.
Results: It took me a couple of attempts to get this recipe down, but since them I've done a few different iterations. Try a coconut pre-bake mix-in with a tropical mixed fruit post-bake mix-in. Or, go trail mix with peanuts on the pre-bake, finishing with raisins & m&m's on the post-bake end. I've been meaning to do butter pecan; someone try that & let me know how it works!