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Brian's Pecan Granola gluten and sugar free  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 314
Location: northeastern New Mexico
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homestead wood heat woodworking
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Good morning

Fall is in the air here in the mountains of northern New Mexico, a good time for baking in the wee morning hours!
We're at 7100 feet in elevation. This is not a baking show, nevertheless  I'll try my best to list the measurements as I go. The reality is most measurements I've used in the 40 years I've been making my own granola are mainly what is in the pantry at the time I'm making granola, plus I experiment almost every time.
What I've found over the years is what matters most is the quantity of oil to flour that makes a granola texture moist and chewy. I've made my share of teeth testing granola in my days of baking homemade cereal, so my goal is to get the texture perfect, which is especially important now that my wife and I are in our mid-sixties.
To attain a softer more easily chewed texture this recipe this recipe uses mainly old fashioned rolled oats. In my opinion Quick Oats get too mushy and you'll lose the texture.
I tried to get my camera to capture the weights of each stage, although I don't know if the scale display can be seen in these photos.

In the above image the ingredient not used is the gluten all purpose flour. That is mainly a rice flour and I decided to leave it out in this recipe to lighten the texture more.
I know many of these gluten free flours contain unsustainable agriculture products so I keep the quantities to a minimum. Dammit though, why is almond flour so damn good?
There is 1.5 ounces of almond flour as well as 1.5 ounces of coconut flour. The flour and any flour works to hold the oats together and make those delectable clumps that make granola burst with flavor.
I'm also dairy and chicken egg intolerant which we just learned from a food allergy test, so I use Rice Dream in my cereal.
Coconut oil now is my favorite oil and this recipe only uses it, including greasing the cookie sheet.

 
I came back to baking granola after many years because I wanted to make cookies with honey from our hives. This recipe has evolved over the years and butter which made my cookies so soft and chewy needed removing from both of our diets. Getting this first stage of cookie and or granola dough to fluff up without butter has been a challenge, but I think I have it down. This is the point when I add whatever spices I want. Today it's cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger. Spice it anyway you like.  Are you hungry yet?

Add 1.5 pounds of oats first right after whipping the honey, coconut oil and baking powder, mixing it completely
Once the oats are mixed well, I add the nuts and seeds of whatever I have available, mainly paying attention to the cost of the nuts per batch of granola. I also used to add raisins, but found they don't bake well and now add them in in the morning when I make a bowl of cereal

Then I add the glorious coconut flour. If you haven't tried baking with coconut flour I think you'll love it. When I first used it I took a bite of the raw flour to check the flavor and texture, holy guacamole! It tastes exactly like raw coconut meat. I don't know why I never snapped that is what it is, doh!
The only other flour I used today is the equally decadent almond flour, yep as you may already know or you guessed, it tastes just like smooth and silky almonds!
The last and perhaps the most important tip for granola baking is to pre-heat the oven to 350 for our high altitude and don't walk away from the oven. Stirring along with watching it bake is the key. It'll toast quickly at the edges, use a spatula to bring the outside edges to the center and keep the edges as thick as possible to prevent burning.
I like granola that isn't hard, so I pull it from the oven at around the ten minute mark or as soon as I've rotated the mix from the outside to the center two times. Pull it and place it in a large bowl quickly, it'll continue to cook in the bowl so if you have delicate counter tops like we do put a pad under the bowl as it will get hot.  
That's it, I hope I explained everything, feel free to ask questions.
Brian Rodgers  
   
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