and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop
I want to tell you that I have a love/hate relationship with granola. Before I started soaking all my grains I loved granola for breakfast. Plain yogurt, honey, raisins and granola all together was sheer bliss for me! I have not had granola for a while now, but with some yogurt in my fridge and some Soaked and Ready Oats left from my adventures in No Bake Granola Bars, I decided it was time to bring back some bliss by making granola! Fool that I am! You see the hate part with granola is I hate to make it. I always burn it--- grrr!
One thing I've learned about granola is that if you use maple syrup instead of honey (or a mix there of) it will not burn as quickly as it does with just honey. So, I found an old recipe I had for granola & instead of honey I used maple syrup. Now, let me share with you some more lessons I've learned about granola:
Isn't that a cute little batch of granola in my cute new toaster oven? I had just enough oats for a half batch...
- Granola has to be babysat. Do not think you can get your granola going inside your oven & then go put your son to bed- the same son who will not stay in his bed long enough to fall asleep unless you lay there with him. Especially do not do this if you are using a recipe that calls for baking at 350 and stirring every 10 minutes. Try a lower temperature! I started the granola, stirred after 10 minutes & then went in with my son- peeling myself away after what I thought was 10 minutes...
- Make sure the granola is in an EVEN layer. You see, it started out nice & even, but when I stirred it the first time I just left it uneven & lumpy. The thin areas are where it burnt first. I did manage to salvage a little bit of granola off the top. Enough for about two servings- so here it is...
A little too much of a "roasted" flavor, but not bad. As soon as I can get to the store to buy more oats I am going to try Wardeh's recipe for raw soaked granola. I don't have a dehydrator & the lowest my oven goes is to 170, so it won't be "raw" but I think I will use a temp of about 250 & take it slow. Hopefully I will have a happier story to tell you soon!
Now, I know most food blogs post wonderful pictures and recipes of marvelous food success stories. However, I think it's good for me to share my failures with you sometimes- then you know it's OK to try something & not succeed at it! Which brings me to my next sad story- sourdough bread. I am still trying to find success in this arena. I have been feeding and using my sourdough starter, keeping it out on the counter, and now in the dark cupboard, trying to find a way to make my own bread without using commercial yeast.
A big reason why I want to do this is because once we are in Rwanda (see "my other blogs" on the side panel for more info on this) I would love to be able to make my own bread using natural yeasts. The traditional bread in Rwanda is a flat bread made from flour, oil, and water, called Chapati. Finding & buying commercial yeast is expensive. The American style bread they sell in the stores comes in paper bags (the president of Rwanda has outlawed plastic bags). Mostly it is white bread & stale!
So, I tried again yesterday to make sourdough bread, and I am ..this.. close to just giving up! Sarah was sweet enough to come over to my blog & comment, after I talked about my attempt at her Sourdough multi-grain bread. For my latest attempt at sourdough I decided to try a short/warm rise to see if it would be less sour. Instead of starting the bread the night before I started it in the morning & put the dough in the oven with the light on & a pot of just-boiled water in there. I let it "rise" for about 5 hours, but I think it needed more time. I did the same thing with the second/in-pan rise, letting it "rise" (I put this in quotes because my dough did not rise much at all!) for about 7 hours. And I should have read Sarah's comments sooner- then I might have remembered to slash my loaves so I didn't end up with the splitting-out-the-side look!
And, just because I like every story to have a happy ending- let's talk about the Sourdough Crackers from Sarah's blog. I love these crackers! They don't care if your starter is active or not & they are a cinch to make! The healthiest way to make these would be with sprouted flour, but since I don't have any I used spelt flour (first time using spelt too). My cookie sheets are big enough that I divide the dough in half & roll it out, using an oiled rolling pin, onto parchment paper.
hummus to dip them in- yum!