Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Homemade Bran Flakes (Cold Cereal)

I've been making homemade granola, but am getting a little tired of the same old stuff. Plus, DD really enjoys various "flake" cereals, so I thought I'd see what I could come up with.

I found a recipe for bran flakes at Mr. Breakfast. Here it is:
Nutty Bran Flakes

1/2 cup bran
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup walnuts or pecans - finely ground
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add milk and water and mix well.

Cut parchement paper into two 12 x 16 pieces.

Lay one piece of parchement on a flat surface and scoop half of the dough onto the center. Flatten dough by hand and cover entire parchement with clear plactic wrap. Roll out the dough over the plastic wrap.

The goal is to make the dough extremely thin with areas of near transparency. You may notice that you are in effect making one huge bran flake at this point.

Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough (on the parchement) onto a 14 x 16 flat sheet pan. Cook for 10 minutes checking often after 5 minutes. A dough this thin will burn easily if left in too long.

The resulting product after cooking will be a leathery thin cracker (crunchy at the edges). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Repeat the rolling and cooking process with the other half of your dough.

Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees.

After both huge bran flakes have completely cooled... rip and crack them into the sized flakes you are most familiar with (about 3/4 of an inch).

Place all flakes on a large cookie sheet and cook at the reduced temperature for 20 minutes... stirring the and flipping the flakes every five minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow flakes to cool completely. Serve with milk and fresh fruit. Stores well in a sealed container for up to two weeks.
And now, my experience.

First off, I could tell this just wouldn't be enough to justify the work I had to do, so I doubled the recipe. I also opted to substitute honey for the sugar (it's healthier) and omitted the nuts because I don't like nuts in my cereal.

I mixed together the bran, flour

and other dry ingredients

Then I added the wet ingredients:

and had DD stir:

Then we poured it onto the parchment paper and spread it out:

And popped it into the oven for it's first round of baking. The timer went off... but it was still gooey. Set it for 5 more mins, but it was STILL gooey. UH OH. I don't think I spread it thin enough, but we were already committed, so we cooked it for about three times as long as the recipe called for and then pulled it out. It was still soft, but no longer gooey.

We let it cool completely, and then tore it into smaller pieces and returned it to the oven for its second round of baking:

We stirred it every two minutes or so, and then took it out when a few of the pieces started looking too dark. We tasted them and... YUM. They tasted exactly right! DD and I did a little happy dance around the kitchen and then poured our flakes into a dish. Guess what we'll be having for breakfast tomorrow?

In closing, I'll say this: It's a lot of cooking time for very few flakes, even with the recipe doubled. The next time, I'll probably quadruple the recipe, make sure I spread it thinly and then just pop the parchment paper onto cooling racks and replace with another batch (I only have one pan with edges) until they're all done. Then we'll break it into smaller flakes and cook in as large of batches as possible.

But, all-in-all, I really liked the recipe and I'd definitely make it again.


  1. This looks great! I love bran flakes and will definitely try making my own soon.

    Would like to get your homemade granola recipe if you are willing to share.

  2. I made this in my toaster oven and they turned out yummy! I put in some garam masala (it's an Indian spice that's kind of like a pumpkin spice but more exotic) and just a tad bit of maple syrup. Oh, and i used soymilk (i'm lactose intolerant so i didn't have any real milk.) And i also omitted the nuts, i'm not really a nuts in my cereal person either.

    They came out quite tasty. I kind of forgot that they were in there on the last oven cycle so they came out slightly burnt but whatever, i kind of like that burnt taste anyways. Burnt popcorn, burnt toast, it makes things feel more authentic, haha.

    Thanks for the tips. Now i'm working on homemade grape nuts going off a recipe here:

    I usually put just plain wheat bran in my yogurt so it gives it kind of a weird texture, so i was looking for ways to make it crispy or crunchy, so turning it into cereal is perfect!

  3. I know this comment is coming extremely late, but I just wanted to mention that the reason you had to cook your flakes for so long would be because you omitted the nuts without either replacing them or reducing the amount of liquids. Your ratio was off, so it took longer to cook out the extra liquid. Hope this helps someone.