If you’re like most of us here at the Test Kitchen, you’ve bought granola at the store only to be sorely (or store-ly, as it were) disappointed. We decided that if we were going to eat granola, it had to be chunky, filled with big, satisfying clusters, and we wanted a crisp texture, too. And we’d probably have to make it ourselves.
Fortunately, we’re in the business of developing best recipes, so we set about perfecting this one. The key to moist crispiness was a half cup of vegetable oil; without it, our granola was brittle and crackly as opposed to pleasantly crunchy with a slight give.
Key techniques to produce an irresistibly chunky granola
PRESS DOWN: Spread the oat mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press it firmly with a spatula to create a compact layer.
BAKE BUT DON’T STIR: Bake the granola at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking, but don’t stir the granola.
BREAK UP: Break the cooled granola “bark” into pieces as large as you’d like.
MAKE IT NOW: Our recipe for Hazelnut Granola with Dried Pear is free through September 5, 2013.