Dylan and I recently caught on to the whole Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread phenomenon. For those who may not know, the New York Times published a recipe for no-knead bread several months ago and it has become a tremendous success, with good reason. We’ve been baking our own bread for a while, but this recipe is SO much easier and better that it really is a revolution in bread-making. Check it out at The Wednesday Chef, even if you’ve never made a loaf of bread before. Or check out Dylan’s own post about it at Dylan’s Outlet.
We’ve had such success with that recipe that I decided to that it might be worth my while to check out some other recipes from the NYT food section. So far I haven’t come across all that much I wanted to make, but I was kind of curious about the crunchy granola recipe they posted on January 10th. I love granola but never buy it because it’s so darn bad for you BUT as a special treat (since I’m spending most of the weekend working), why not try making homemade granola?
Having just pulled it out of the oven, I’m pretty excited about it BUT there are some definite caveats. Most importantly, if you’re thinking “Ooh, yummy, crunchy oat clusters!” this is not the granola for you. It is yummy, it is crunchy, and it is oaty, but clusters? Not so much. Looking at the recipe now, I guess the lack of butter and fairly modest honey/maple syrup amounts should have tipped me off to that. I was a little disappointed at first, but having now munched on quite a bit of it as it cools off, I’m actually pretty into it. It will be great mixed into cereal or yogurt, or to top off oatmeal with a little crunch. And given the ingredient list, it’s actually not so bad for you at all. For the sweetener I used a blend of ordinary old honey, maple syrup, and special Otago honey that we brought back from our recent trip to New Zealand…I went for the blend because I had run out of ordinary honey, but I think it would turn out pretty similar no matter what you use. I used about 3/4 cup total, figuring that was a happy medium between the recommended 1/2 cup to a cup. I also added a little extra dried fruit, going for about half raisins and half coarsely chopped fruit from Trader Joe’s bagged mix (mostly prunes, peaches, and apricots).
The New York Times’ Crunchy Granola
Ingredients: (for 8 cups, at least 16 servings)
6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews
1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut (optional- I omitted it)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ to 1 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste
1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT dried fruit. Place on a sheet pan and put in oven. Bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. Mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
2. Remove pan from oven and add raisins or dried fruit. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely. (Superspark’s note: unclear how you’re supposed to cool it on a rack as it’s really discrete oats, not clusters, so I just spread it out in a pan and hoped for the best.)
Yield: About 8 cups (at least 16 servings).