The Perfect Equation (for Granola, anyway)

The perfect granola equations // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

First, let me apologize for disappearing for a little while. I was laid up in bed with a really terrible cold for most of this week. There was lots of tea, cough drops, movies, tom kha soup, and knitting. But now that I’m back from the land of the ill, let’s talk about granola a little bit.

For a while now, I’ve been making the recipe from Orangette or another friend’s secret granola recipe. And every time I’ve tried to go rogue (aka not exactly following a recipe), my granola ends up too dry, or not sweet enough, or not as crispy as I like it. And I’m not the kind to make the same recipe a thousand times trying to add a teaspoon more of this or up the temperature 13 degrees. It’s not going to happen.

So when I happened upon a granola equation, on Buzzfeed of all places, I immediately wrote it down on a little notepad I’ve started carrying with me wherever I go (can’t recommend that enough). And I’ve used it many times. I’ve made a couple adjustments, and I have a couple of suggestions in terms of which way to lean on some of their more vague instructions, and I want to share it with you.

The Perfect Granola Equation

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

3 1/2 cups grain This is where most people use oats. I use oats. I guess if you want to use barley or whatever, you can.

1 – 1 1/2 cups nuts I’ve been using mostly a mix of whatever I have around. I like half pecans, half sliced almonds, but I’ve also used walnuts.

1 tsp salt

1 – 2 cups seeds I would suggest leaning towards one cup instead of two. Otherwise it can quickly start to feel like you’re eating birdseed. I’ve been mostly using pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds (old habits and all that), but I’m itching to try sesame seeds too.

1 cup coconut If you really dislike coconut, you can go without, but it adds a lovely nutty toasty flavor to the granola that I adore.

Spices You can really add as many as you like, but don’t get too crazy. A teaspoon of cinnamon is always a good place to start, and after that, maybe add a quarter teaspoon of one or two other things. I always use a quarter teaspoon of cardamom, and because it’s the holiday season and I associate nutmeg with the holidays, I’ve been adding a quarter teaspoon of that as well.

1 cup dried fruit I’m personally not a fan of dried fruit in my granola – I’d rather cut in a banana or peach or some berries – but if you are, you can add it after baking. If you’re adding something big like dried apricot or figs (as opposed to something small like dried cranberries or cherries), cut it into a rough dice before tossing it in with the granola.

Wet Ingredients

1/2 – 3/4 cup sweetener I like to do mostly maple syrup, though it can get a little pricy. Sometimes I’ll do half syrup and half honey. Agave is another good option.

1/4 – 1/2 cup oil I used to use solely olive oil – I liked the kind of savory-ness it brought to the granola – but I’ve started doing half olive oil and half coconut oil, and I am a big big fan.

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients, stir until thoroughly combined and coated. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the granola on the parchment. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes (unless you like clumpier granola, in which case stir once halfway through). Remove from oven, allow to cool, and enjoy.

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