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why is my crunchy granola harder than teeth?

First 2-3 times I made granola, everything came out perfect: crunchy, light, clustery(or loose, depending on how much juice I put). But as I made more and more, my granola started coming out harder and harder, so then I started looking up different recipes promising a crunchy batch o' granola, and still things keep getting hard. Now I can eat 3 bites of my granola before having to rest my jaw, it's so bad that I prefer to let it sit in my yogurt or milk for half an hour before attacking it, because even nasty-soggy is better than harder-than-teeth!

So does anyone have suggestions for making crispier granola that won't have me break a tooth before the year is over?

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  1. Would reducing the baking time help?

    Or, what about adding to the fully baked granola some "moister" dried fruit (such as dried apricots that are moist and plump) then placing all in a tightly covered container (such as Tupperware)? I'm speculating that the "moist" dried fruit might soften the "harder than teeth" granola....

    My granola is harder than teeth too but I like it that way. Bad news for my teeth, though....

    1. Are you baking it in an oven? Maybe the oven's calibration is off.

      Other ideas: add more oil or liquid sweetener. The granola will stay soft longer.

        1. re: sarahcooks

          if i had seen this youtube before, this would have exactly been my reply. so funny!
          i absolutely love the title of this thread! harder than teeth is cracking me up!
          in my limited granola baking experience, i can't get mine hard enough! i wonder if maybe one of your ingredients has changed but you are not realizing it. i add all kinds of crap to mine and would have to throw out my recipe, if you can call it that, and start over from an entirely new recipe.

        2. Not to be dense, but did you change something after the 2nd/3rd time, anything that could have impacted hardness?

          1. I'm oven baking it. I have a thermometer in the oven, so the temperature is consistent.
            Maybe I'll try stovetop next time! easier to monitor doneness.

            I'm not looking for "soft-ish" granola (like BearNaked, which I have achieved on my way to find my crunchy version) , I want crunchy ( i.e. pretzel, fortune cookie) but not hard (i.e. bullet, teeth).

            This is my downfall, I never pay attention proportions or ingredients, I just throw things together and taste as I go. I really don't believe that I changed anything, but I must have, otherwise my results wouldn't have changed, and this is the missing piece of the puzzle that I'm trying to find so that I can get the same crunchy results again. So I thought maybe somebody would be a granola expert and can make a soft, crunchy or hard granola voluntarily, conscious of what changes they make between each; that might lead to solving the puzzle.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kerosundae

              I find the cooking time has a strong effect - the longer you cook, the harder the granola.

              Another factor might be liquid - if you start with more liquid, then it takes longer to evaporate, and the granola is softer.

              1. re: kerosundae

                thank you all! I'm going to make sure I stop the cooking when it's still soft and see what that gives me, will report back on the experiment!

              2. Keep in mind that once your batch of granola is made, it is continues to harden as it ages. If you want to add shelf life to your homemade granola under baking will allow for air drying as you enjoy it.

                The biggest culprit of hard granola is overbaking.

                1 Reply
                1. re: HillJ

                  YES! This is just what I was going to say -- I'm a notorious over-baker because I forget about air-drying and carryover cooking.