This weekend, inspired by Willow Bird Baking, I decided to make my own cereal. Friends and colleagues all looked at me like I was mental when I mentioned it to them, but I thought it would be awesome and solve my long standing what to have for breakfast problem. Bran flakes and granola were my not so modest ambitions, and all in all, they worked out well.

Granola (from WBB)

3 cups rolled oats (forgive the american measurements)
1 cup desicated coconut
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

Granola, it turns out, is incredibly easy to make. Roughly following WBB’s recipe, it took about five minutes to prepare and 20 minutes (which turns out was a bit too much) to cook, baked in the oven, being stirred regularly. The recipe calls for a bit too much salt, which is weird, so if you plan to emulate me, cut it down to a pinch.  Preheat the oven to gas mark two/150 degrees C.  Combine oats and coconut in a bowl.  Put all the remaining ingrediants in a saucepan and heat until simmering.  Add the two lots together.  Spread the mixture out on a baking tray and bake for 7 mins before stirring, then 7 more minutes.  Another 7 mins may be necessary, take a judgement call.

Bran flakes (from WBB)

1/2 cup bran
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup almond flour (or other finely ground nuts)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water

Bran flakes: do not be mislead by the clearly amazing Willow Bird Bakery. Bran flakes are hard to make. The recipe turned out too wet, so I added loads more flour, then it was too dry. When baked, the greaseproof paper was difficult (and in some cases impossible) to remove from the pre-flaked flake, which is going to make for some interesting paper eating moments in the weeks to come. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180 degrees C. Sift the flours and other dry ingredients into a bowl, add the milk and water. If it’s too wet, add more flour but in very small amounts, otherwise you’ll end up with a very dry bran flake.

Put the dough on some greaseproof paper, cover with cling flim and squish with your hands until very thin. Remove cling film, place mixture-covered paper on a baking sheet in the oven. Cook for about 7 minutes again. Take it out and leave to cool, before breaking the flake into small, flake sized pieces. Turn the oven down and re-bake the smaller flakes for about 10 minutes.

It’s relatively hard work, but make enough and it lasts for absolutely ages, and there’s nothing quite so satisfying as eating cereal that you’ve made yourself.

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