In THE ULTIMATE COOK BOOK, we concocted a "road map" for granola--that is, a basic formula into which you can plug ingredients at will. For example, under the sweetener, our road map tells you to add any of the following: honey, maple syrup, unsweetened apple juice concentrate (thawed), sweetened cranberry juice concentrate (thawed), cane syrup, Lyle's Golden Syrup (a chip for the Brits), or agave nectar. Combine that with all the other choices in the road map and there are about a zillion recipes for granola, give or take five.
Which means Bruce never makes it the same way twice. Which means I can say nothing definite, unlike as to matters of theology or politics. But just yesterday he cooked up a new batch, so here's how he did it this time:
He divided the oven into thirds with the racks, got the thing heated up to 350F, and spread 9 cups rolled oats on them (no instant oats, only the real thing). He popped them into the oven--perky, no?--and toasted the oats for 10 minutes, switching the trays around halfway through to make sure the oats toasted evenly.
He set the oats aside, then warmed 1 cup honey and 1 cup canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the mixture started to steam. He stirred in 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract and set that aside.
Next, he mixed the following in a large bowl: 3/4 cup chopped almond pieces, 3/4 cup wheat germ, 3/4 cup powdered non-fat dry milk, 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt.
In truth, you could swap those nuts for others: walnuts, pecans, cashews. (No salted version of any, of course. Blech.) And there are lots of spices you could add here in dribs and drabs: ground cloves, ground allspice, grated nutmeg. You could also use wheat bran instead of germ. It's all a matter of taste. Like love. Only a tad more exacting. (Or perhaps I've said too much.)
He poured the toasted oats into the big bowl and gave everything a good stir. Then he poured in the oil mixture, stuck his (cleaned!) hands in the bowl, and tossed up the whole thing, crumbling up any brown sugar that got balled up with the oil and making sure the goodies were evenly distributed in the oats.
He sprayed the trays with nonstick spray and then divided the oat mixture among them He stuck the loaded trays back in the oven and baked them for 10 minutes. Now for the tedious part: he pulled the trays out one by one, stirred everything on them with a metal spatula, and stuck them back in the oven in a different arrangement ("bottom rung on top," as we say in the South) to bake for another 10 minutes.
When the trays were out and again on a wire rack, he divided 3/4 cup golden raisins and 3/4 cup dark raisins among them, stirred everything one more time, and let them cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours. He broke it all up and put it in a big container for breakfasts many mornings, while I sip my bowl of coffee and read up on theology and politics.