Here's an easy master formula. Follow one of the eight variations, or use one to inspire your own cereal blueprint.
Master Granola Recipe
2 cups Old-fashioned Oats
½ cup Wheat Germ
2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
¼ cup Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp flavorless cooking oil, such as Vegetable or Canola
1 Tbsp Water
1 cup Extra Ingredients (see complete list below)
Flavoring (see below)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside.
2. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and Extra Ingredients--except dried fruit--in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and any Flavoring indicated below to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine.
3. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. (Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.) Makes one quart.
You can double the recipe, but bake the granola in two pans. You also may need to increase cooking time. The key is to bake the granola until it is an impressive golden brown.
Copyright 2005 USA Weekend and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.