Baker Sweet Maker - Shirl Gard
Shirl's Cranberry Almond Granola
Author: Shirl Gard
This is the original granola recipe that I developed years ago when I was a restaurant pastry chef. The chef asked me to create a granola that he could put on the breakfast menu. As far as I know, it is still on the menu at The Old Inn On The Green in New Marlborough, MA and The Southfield Store down the road. We also packaged and sold Shirl's Granola at the Store, as well as to a few local grocery stores in the Berkshires. By customer demand, I later created a gluten-free (gf) vegan version of this recipe, which I will post as a follow-up to this one: Shirl's Gluten-Free & Vegan Granola. Professionally, I have baked hundreds of pounds of this granola and many pounds at home as well. I highly recommend that you try it
INGREDIENTS
  • YIELD: ABOUT 2700 GRAMS (6 LB)
  • MAKES 2 HALF SHEET PANS
  • DRY MIX: 1255g (43.9%)
  • 750 grams old-fashioned rolled oats (7½ cups)
  • 120 grams oat bran (1 cup)
  • 80 grams raw wheat germ (1 cup)
  • 45 grams puffed wheat dry cereal (3 cups)
  • 80 grams nonfat dry milk powder (1/2 cup + 3 Tablespoons)
  • 90 grams sunflower seeds (2/3 cup)
  • 60 grams sesame seeds (1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon)
  • 30 grams flax seeds (3 Tablespoons)
  • LIQUIDS: 780g (27.3%)
  • 250 grams canola oil (1¼ cups)
  • 500 grams honey (1½ cups + 1 Tablespoon)
  • 30 grams vanilla extract (2 Tablespoons)
  • NUTS: 330g (11.5%)
  • 200 grams whole natural almonds (1⅓ cups)
  • 130 grams slivered almonds (1 cup)
  • PUMPKIN SEEDS: 175g (6.1%)
  • 175 grams pumpkin seeds (1 cup + 2½ Tablespoons)
  • DRIED FRUIT: 320g (11.2%)
  • 160 grams dried cranberries (1 cup)
  • 80 grams dark raisins (1/2 cup)
  • 80 grams golden raisins (1/2 cup)
  • 2860 grams = TOTAL 100 oz (6 lb 4 oz)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. SCALE all ingredients before starting to mix. Weigh the DRY MIX in an extra-large mixing bowl using the tare function to take the scale back to 0 between ingredients. For LIQUIDS, weigh into an 8-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup with spout. The NUTS, PUMPKIN SEEDS, and DRIED FRUIT should be scaled into separate small deli-type containers because they are added at different times. The NUTS are mixed into and baked with the DRY MIX and LIQUIDS. PUMPKIN SEEDS are added toward the end of the baking time. DRIED FRUIT is not baked; it is added after the baked granola has cooled.
  2. PRE-HEAT oven to 275° F (135° C) when ready to bake.
  3. LINE 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  4. TOSS the DRY MIX with your hands until well mixed.
  5. BLEND canola oil, honey, and vanilla, using a hand blender, until the liquids are completely emulsified.
  6. POUR LIQUIDS over the DRY MIX and mix with your hands (I wear nitrile gloves when mixing) until all of the dry ingredients are coated. It helps if you squeeze and rub the mixture between you hands. Add the nuts and rub them in until also well coated with the LIQUIDS. If you like your granola chunky like I do, put half of the mix into a Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with the paddle, and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. (When you squeeze a handful of granola, it should stick together. If it doesn't stick together, mix a little more.) Then combine with the rest of the granola. The mixer binds the ingredients together tighter, which helps to create chunks. If you like your granola more granular like the texture of oats, don't use the mixer, just mix by hand.
  7. DIVIDE the mixed granola between the two sheet pans and spread into an even layer in both pans. Keep loose; don't pack together.
  8. BAKE at 275° F (135° C) for 30 minutes, then stir and rotate pans between shelves and front to back.
  9. STIR: take one pan at a time out of the oven, place it on the counter and stir gently with a large spoon. Because granola browns around the outside edges first, it's important to stir by pulling the granola to the center of the pan, then re-distributing, in order to get an even bake.
  10. TURN oven down to 250° F (120° C) and bake another 30 minutes. Again, take pans out of oven, one at a time, and stir; then scatter the pumpkin seeds over the granola, dividing roughly between the two pans. Adding the pumpkin seeds after 1 hour of baking insures that they will maintain their pretty green color. Baking pumpkin seeds too long will cause them to turn brown.
  11. CONTINUE baking another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown, crisp and crunchy. Total baking time = 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. Note: granola will not be crunchy when it is hot, so in order to test doneness, take a small amount out of the pan and place on counter to cool for a few minutes, then taste. If it is not crunchy enough when cool, bake a few more minutes, watching the color carefully. Over-baking and getting it too dark will cause it to taste bitter,
  12. COOL in the pans 8-10 minutes, then gently break into whatever size chunks you like. Finish cooling in the pans.
  13. TRANSFER cool granola to extra-large bowl. Scatter the dried fruit over the top of the granola and toss with your hands to combine.
  14. STORE in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to two months.
  15. FRESHEN GRANOLA. If for some reason your granola gets soggy and is not longer crisp, you can put it back in a 250° F (120° C) oven for 15-20 minutes, just long enough to get it good and hot. When it cools it should be crisp again.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
Recipe created by Shirl Gard. In developing this recipe, I was inspired by one called Mary's Granola from Mary Gubser's Quick Breads Soups & Stews (1991). At the time, I didn't know much about granola so this recipe served as a template to get me started. This is what I came up with after many bakes and tweaks.
Recipe by ShirlGard at https://shirlgard.com/shirls-cranberry-almond-granola/