After re-living my youth in my last post, I realized that the granola I had in the oven while blogging was first made popular around the same time-frame. I used to call it Super 70′s Granola, but I think I’ll rename it “Bay City Granola” after the Bay City Rollers and San Francisco, where I have tweeked the 70′s version.
My granola recipe is on a stained yellow index card with my tween-age handwriting, in pencil. It has handwriting that, for sure, I was trying to copy from my older sister. And, the recipe was copied from the older daughters of one of my mother’s best friends (we tried to emulate those girls at every opportunity). I have no idea where the recipe originally came from because I think their’s was probably on a notecard or piece of binder paper. College rule, I’m sure. And, if my sisters have been looking for this recipe, the jig is up. I nabbed it from my mother’s recipe file, many moons ago.
This granola is not a particularly sweet variety. It is not one that comes in big sticky clumps. It is very basic and more like a dry cereal. In the 70′s, it may have been a little sweeter, because I’m pretty confident that the original version meant to use sweetened coconut. I doubt that the unsweetened was widely available. So, if you want it to be sweeter, you could substitute angel flake coconut.
I change the way that I make the granola on a regular basis. Lately, I use only whole wheat flour and sprinkle in some flaxseed meal. Tonight, I added a little almond meal, too. And, a few shakes of cinnamon. I don’t usually add whole nuts, like many granola recipes have you add. I think that nuts are a pretty personal taste and I don’t usually like nuts with my yogurt, which is how I typically eat this granola. I’ve made it with some honey and I’ve made it with all maple syrup. It is a pretty flexible formula.
If you store this granola with any dried fruit, it gets soggy pretty quickly. It is a crisp, crumbly, and toasty granola, which is the way I like it. It stays crunchy for a long time, perhaps indefinitely, in an airtight container.
You can eat the granola with milk, like a muesli. Or, as I usually like it, on top of plain yogurt, with some fresh or dried fruit and a little bit of honey. You can also cook it into a hot cereal. I HATE, and I mean LOATHE, hot oatmeal cereal. There is something about the flavor and texture that is raw and I, literally, can’t swallow it. But, I can eat this granola made into hot cereal. Maybe it is the fact that the oats are toasted? Maybe it is the sweetness? Maybe it is the coconut? Probably the combination. To make a hot cereal, you just put the serving size that you want in a small pan, add a bunch of milk (about an equal amount or slightly more) and cook it until the cereal absorbs the milk. Then, throw on some raisins and it is perfect.
Or, you can just snack on it out of hand.
Bay City Granola
6 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup toasted wheat germ (I use Kretschmer’s)
2 cups unsweeted shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (optional)**
1/4 cup almond meal (optional)**
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 275 F, convection if possible.
** If you add the flaxseed or almond meal, you may want to reduce the oats or the wheat germ by the same quantity, or add a bit more sugar, oil and water.
Mix the oats, wheat germ, coconut, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, flaxseed meal, and almond meal in a large bowl. Combine brown sugar, vegetable oil, boiling water and salt in a small bowl. Pour sugar mixture into oat mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients have been coated. You want to make sure that the ingredients are very well combined and that all the dry ingredients have been coated with the wet ingredients.
Divide the granola mixture onto 2 ungreased sheet pans (12X18 works well, if you don’t have or can’t use pans that large, use more pans). Bake in a 275 F oven for about 70 minutes, if using convection, or 90 minutes if using conventional bake, until the granola is a light-medium brown. Cool completely.
Once the granola has cooled, break it up with your hands and store it in an airtight container. This recipe makes A LOT of granola – about 4 quarts or thirty-two 1/2 cup servings.
You can halve or quarter the recipe if you don’t want so much (see my notes on the yellow card!). But, the granola lasts a very long time in an airtight container.