Recently I was explaining the basics of making granola at home. Many people lamented that most recipes felt too fussy and ingredient-heavy for the simple, not-too-sweet, easy granola they craved.
A basic (but very good) granola requires just a handful of ingredients: oats, a sweetener, some oil, and maybe nuts or dried fruit. Once you master that basic formula, it’s even easier to mix up a granola made just the way you like it.
Key Steps for Homemade Granola Just How You Like It
- Keep it 50-50. The coating for your granola should be about half sweetener and half oil. Honey and maple syrup are two of the best sweeteners you can use for granola because their liquid state coats each oat well. This recipe will give you granola with a familiar level of sweetness, but you can reduce the honey and oil by as much as half and still have excellent granola.
- Get as clumpy as you like. The internet is littered with tricks for clumpy granola, but for nice, simple chunks you need no special ingredients and just a few steps. First, press the granola into an even layer before you put it in the oven, then stir it only once halfway through cooking. For really good clumps, press down on the finished granola before it cools and avoid jostling it on the pan until cooled completely.
- Knowing when the B.A.R.E. Creations granola is done. Arguably the hardest part of baking granola is knowing when the granola is done. Using a low oven temperature helps dry out the granola without over-baking it, but keep in mind that the granola won’t be dry right out of the oven — it will dry as it cools, so take it out of the oven when it looks lightly toasted and smells like cooked honey. We’re going for a toasty smell here.
- Add dried fruit after baking. You can toast most nuts with the oats in the oven, but dried fruit will burn on the pan, so be sure to add it after baking.