After turning on the oven, it’s always nice to use it for several things. And so that’s just what I did today, for most of the day, actually. What a glorious week it will be with fresh loaves of bread, Parmesan cheese crackers, and the best granola bars I’ve ever made!
(I also made a vegetable dish in the oven, but that recipe will soon be disclosed in an upcoming e-book that I’m helping to write!)
The day began with preparations for bread, and is now ending with a wonderful aroma enveloping the house.
I can’t think of many things that are finer than fresh bread! And one loaf will go into the freezer for another day. Oh, yum.
In the meanwhile, as the bread did its various rising and falling, I tried making Parmesean cheese crackers from this recipe (I halved it to try it for the first time). What simple ingredients! Compare that to the ingredient list of your average store-bought cheese cracker!
And yes, they are quite delicious.
And then I moved on to granola bars. I’ve made some good granola bars before, but something about these ones really made my pleasure neurons light up, and they have a great consistency. The recipe was taken from the America’s Test Kitchen D.I.Y. Cookbook that I received from my brother and his fiance for my birthday (thanks!).
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon flake sea salt
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut ( I didn’t have this so I used chocolate chips instead!)
Heat oven to 300 degrees F and have the oven rack in the middle position. Rip off two long sheets of tinfoil and arrange them perpendicular to one another in a 13 x 9 baking pan, smoothing the foil flush to the pan. Grease with vegetable oil.
Whisk maple syrup, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in oil.
Process 1/2 cup oats in food processor until finely ground (about 30-40 seconds). Add this to the bowl with the syrup mixture and add the remaining 1.5 cup oats, pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds, and coconut (or chocolate chips), until all the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
Transfer oat mixture to the pan and spread into a thin layer using the back of a spatula. Make sure everything is firmly compressed.
Bake until deeply golden, about 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
Let granola cool on a wire rack in the pan for about 15 minutes and then cut, still in the pan, into 16 bars. Cool to room temperature for about 1 hour. Transfer to cutting board to re-cut the bars following the original cuts made. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
What a productive (and delicious) day! If only someone would follow me around to help with the clean-up!
But really, even that’s ok, too! Just have to get into Zen-mind with it!
It all looks delicious, I can almost smell that freshly baked bread! Thank you for the granola bar recipe, I will definitly be trying that one out. I too have a tradition of baking for the week ahead on a Sunday, we have a radio serial here called The Archers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qpgr) which has an omnibus on Sunday mornings. I really enjoy pottering about the kitchen, whilst catching up on the goings on of the fictional farming community it portrays, I often pick up some good tips for the smallholding!
I’m with you too on the zen approach to washing up, it’s amazing how an irritation task can turn out to be a beautiful quiet moment.
Kind regards, Alex
That sounds like a fun way to spend Sundays! Baking and transporting to The Archers world! What could be better? 🙂
I hope the granola bar recipe turns out well for you too!
Thanks for all your comments – I appreciate every one.
I bet your house smelled really good! I would love to have you join in several hops that I host or co-host! Starting today there is the seasonal Winter on the HomeAcre Hop at:
This gives you a chance to bring out archived posts on winter subjects 🙂
Tomorrow is Wildcrafting Wednesday, you’ll be able to find it from my homepage at:
And on Thursday I host The HomeAcre Hop, another good place to bring out great posts that you would like to share again. I’d love to see posts on homesteading, farming, cooking, homeschooling…the list goes on 🙂 You can also find that on my homepage. Hope you can join us for all of these fun hops!
Thanks for the invites to all these hop! I’ll definitely be linking up to some of them (if not all!). 🙂
Glad the granola recipe came out so well! Are they kinda crispy or more of a soft texture or a combo? And those parmesan crackers look fricken’ delicious, gunna have to try those.
I also can’t help but notice that beautiful knife in the drying rack 🙂
(P.S. Just made some epic veggies, beans and dumplings last night, and thought of you)
Thanks so much for sharing this on Wildcrafting Wednesday! The granola bars especially sound wonderful!
Oh gosh! I don’t know how I wasn’t following your blog already! This all looks delicious! I just scanned through some of your old posts too and they are great! Clearly we have a lot in common!
All your baked goods look absolutely delicious!! 🙂
I love making the most of the oven when it’s on too 😉
Yummy! I’m going to have to try the granola bars for sure!!
I have been wanting to make our own granola bars, just recently started making granola and my family loves it. Thank you for the recipe. I am a new subscriber 🙂
You’re welcome – your family will love them!
Everything looks yummy-what a productive day in the kitchen! And where is your sous chef for kitchen clean up?!
This is actually a post from the archives that I put up on FB since I made the granola bars again yesterday. He was in Chicago for the original posting, so that’s a good excuse! I had a sous chef yesterday! 😉