What are your tips for making GREAT granola?
Is it really necessary to boil the liquids before adding to the oats/nuts and baking? What does this accomplish? What's your ideal oven temperature? How thin/thick do you lay out the granola on a cookie sheet and does it make a difference in the crunchiness/texture? I'm using whole oats which seem like the best option (vs. quick cooking, for example). Does anyone use anything else? What is the purpose of adding powered milk as some recipes call for? Etc, etc, etc.
Please share ANY tips / explanations for mastering the art of GREAT granola. Thanks!
for recipes and tips you should search the Home Cooking board with the search term "granola" it's an extremely popular topic and there are numerous threads.
it's *never* necessary to "boil" the liquids - i'm not sure where you got that idea. some recipes suggest heating them to make it easier to work with viscous ingredients like honey or maple syrup, but heating is not the same thing as boiling. in fact, the last thing you want to do is pour boiling liquid over your dry ingredients - you'll start to cook out/develop the starch in the oats and end up with a gluey, slimy mess.
texture depends on how thick or thin the layer is when you spread it out, AND the baking time and temperature. there's no hard & fast rule here - it depends on your preference and the combination of ingredients you use. i prefer to brown it first, then turn down the temperature to finish baking...and i generally leave it in the oven (turned off) overnight t dry it out. for me, the crunchier, the better.
regular whole oats are sturdier than quick-cooking, and therefore more suitable and make for better granola, IMO.
powdered milk serves as a binder, encourages browning, and slightly increases protein content.