Homemade granola

Pretty much every weekend now, or if not every then every other, I end up making granola. I got fed up with extortionate prices for tiny boxes in the shops, and started doing a bit of research to find a recipe to try myself. There are invariable variations out there, but this is one that both I and the rest of the family, after a bit of experimentation, liked the best.

Granola ingredients

I vary it depending on which ingredients I have at home, if I’m out of one the recipe still works equally well. The kids prefer to have theirs with raisins, but as I prefer it without, I just add it to their bowls when they eat it.

I’d like to say it works out a lot cheaper than the shop-bought varieties, but I haven’t actually sat down and worked it out yet. It is a lot more satisfying though!

Granola and yoghurt

Homemade granola

Ingredients
3 cups / 350g rolled oats
1/3 cup / 60g chopped almonds
1/3 cup / 60g chopped hazelnuts
1/3 cup / 60g chopped sunflower seeds
1/3 cup / 60g chopped linseeds / flax seeds
1/3 cup / 60g chopped desiccated coconut
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup / 65 ml vegetable oil
1/4 cup / 65 ml golden syrup
1/4 cup / 65 ml soft dark brown sugar

Method 
1) Preheat the oven to 170C
2) In a large bown, mix together the oats, nuts, seeds and desiccated coconut
3) In a small pot, mix the oil, golden syrup and brown sugar. Gently heat the mixture for a few minutes until he sugar has melted.
4) Pour the oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir until mixed together well.
5) Spread evenly on a baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden. Stir the mixture once or twice during baking to ensure it bakes evenly
6) Store in an airtight container.

Granola in jar

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Oatmeal bread rolls

This week is National Bread Week in the UK, so I thought I’d share one of my favourite bread recipes with you. I generally prefer to make bread rolls to a whole loaf of bread as a loaf often tends to go off before we go through it. Rolls on the other hand are easier to freeze and just take one out and defrost as needed. They also still taste freshly baked this way!

Oatmeal rolls in the making

This is a recipe that reminds me of the oatmeal rolls my gran used to make. These ones are a bit less compact though, and has the {optional} addition of linseed, or flax seed as they are also called, depending on where you are from. {Linseed seems to be the European name, whereas it’s flax seed in North America}. I usually use the brown variety, as they are generally better value, but the {more expensive} golden variety works just as well if you prefer not to see them as easily but still want the goodness they provide. Or just leave them out – I like the texture they add though.

Oatmeal rolls - ready to rise

The recipe is pretty versatile – I have used different varieties of oats {from finely milled to rolled oats}, spelt flour {refined and wholemeal} instead of wheat and have also made them as overnight rolls {I should probably have reduced the amount of yeast then though}

Anyway, here’s the recipe. I hope you give them a go!

Oatmeal rolls

Adapted from a recipe from Tasteline

Oatmeal bread rolls

Ingredients
500 ml milk
100 ml linseed / flax seed – optional (70g)
150 ml oatmeal (70g)
7 g fast action yeast (1 sachet)
200 ml creme fraiche, low fat
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1000 ml strong bread flour (600g)

Method
1) Pour the milk into a pot, add the oats and linseed / flax seed (if using) and simmer until thickened into a porridge. Leave to cool until lukewarm.
2) Mix most of the flour with the fast action yeast. Stir in the porridge, creme fraiche, salt, and golden syrup, working together to form a smooth dough. Add the remaining flour if needed, leaving a bit for when it’s time to roll out the dough.
3) Cover the dough and leave to rise for about a hour, or until doubled in size.
4) Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and roll it out until about 2.5cm/1 inch thick. Use an 8cm/3 inch circle cookie/scone cutter to cut out the rolls. {Or just divide the dough into smallish sized pieces and roll into a ball. Flatten slightly} Prick the rolls with a fork a few times on each and leave to rise on a baking tray for another 30 minutes.
5) Preheat the oven to 225 °. Bake in middle of oven about 12 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

The rolls freeze well and are equally good for breakfast, as a snack and bread for food.

Oatmeal rolls - ready to eat

Cinnamon buns

The 4th October is National Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden, which is obviously cause for celebration! I hadn’t planned on baking any today as I thought we had a big bag from when I last made them in the freezer, however when I checked this morning it turned out there were only two left!! And when hubby then found out what day it was he demanded requested I’d bake more, so I did.Freshly made cinnamon buns

I saw somewhere that these types of buns seem to be served for breakfast in the US. I’m not sure if that’s actually true or if they are maybe just had by busy people who pop in to a coffee shop for some sustenance on their way to work. In Sweden they definitely belong at ‘fika’, be it in the (late) morning or afternoon, but not for breakfast. I would love to hear from any Americans readers what their thoughts are! And other nationalities – when do you enjoy them? Do you enjoy them?!

Cinnamon bun dough proving

I quite like adding a few additional flavours to the buns, particularly cardamom. It’s usually added to the dough, but I tend to forget to add it when making the dough, in which case I add it to the filling instead. Either way is delicious!Cinnamon buns with filling

Another flavour I frequently add is a bit of grated marzipan, just grate it on top of the other filling before rolling or folding the dough. Just don’t add to much as it will end up melting and make the buns all sticky. Lovely as that may sound, less is definitely more here! Cinnamon buns in progress

It’s traditional to decorate the buns with ‘nib’ or ‘pearl’ sugar, which seems to be typically Scandinavian. I’ve never seen any in a shop here in the UK, but I did notice Sarah-Jane using it on her buns last week in the Great British Bake-Off’s ‘Sweet Dough’ episode. Cinnamon buns proving

Thanks to the mighty interweb I discovered it’s still easy to get hold of, particularly from Swedish or Scandinavian online food shops, but also from Amazon. (Is there anything they don’t sell?)  
If you don’t have any at hand, or just want something different, sliced almonds or chopped hazelnuts work just as well, and gives the buns a slightly healthier feel. (Or is that just me?!)

Cinnamon buns fresh out the oven

Cinnamon buns

Dough
1 tbsp cardamom pods
300 ml milk
50 g fresh yeast or 14g (2 sachets) fast action dried yeast
150 ml sugar
0.5 tsp salt
150 g soft butter
1 egg
1.2 liter strong flour

Filling
100 g soft butter
100 ml sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Topping
1 beaten egg
Sugar / Flaked Almonds / Chopped hazelnuts

Method
1. Remove the seeds from the pods and grind the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar
2. Add the cardamom and milk to a pan and heat until tepid
3. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and dissolve it with the milk, sugar, salt, diced butter and eggs. (If using dried yeast, mix the yeast with the flour and add to the other ingredients in next step)
4. Add a little flour at a time until you have a smooth dough, kneading for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable
5. Leave the dough to prove in a warm place, covered with a clean tea towel, until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes
6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
7. Mix the butter, sugar and cinnamon for the filling.
8. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, roll out into a large thin rectangle, about 5mm. Spread the filling all over the dough
9. Roll it up into a tight roll and slice it into 3 cm thick slices or fold the dough in half lengthways and slice into 2 cm ribbons. Twist the ribbons into a bun
10. Place the slices/buns on a baking tray, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size, about 30-60 mins.
11. Brush the buns with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar / flaked almonds / chopped hazelnuts.
12. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then enjoy with a glass of milk.

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The buns are nicest freshly baked, so freeze any that don’t get eaten right away and you will have fresh buns whenever you fancy one! (Unless you also have a little, or rather big, mouse who raids your freezer!!)