You make granola bars from caramelized nuts, grains, and cereals, baking and shaping them into crunchy snacks. Granola bar production involves mixing, forming, baking, and cutting into bars. The quality of granola bars is affected by baking. How the sugar caramelizes and blends with the other ingredients determines the final taste and texture of your granola bar.
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Binders keepers: getting that granola bar together
To maintain the shape of granola bars, you may use binders. Fortunately, various healthy ingredients act as binders to better enhance your granola bar’s quality.
Good binders also reduce the water activity of your granola bars and contribute to shelf-life extension and quality improvement. Ingredients rich in fiber act as great binders. This lets them adsorb and bind all the other ingredients together with the sugar. Examples of these are oats and chia seeds.
You can also substitute sugars, an example of which is honey. Its sticky nature allows it to act as a binder for your granola bar. Using honey also reduces the glycemic index of your granola bars, providing sweetness but providing lesser calories.
Cereal, granola, or muesli, which is which?
Identifying whether the bar is cereal, granola, and muesli can be confusing. Among the three, cereal bars and granola bars share the same process, the only difference being in the grains you use. Cereal bars generally use refined grains while granola bars use whole grains. Cereal bar production is like that of granola bar production and basically follows the same sequence stated above.
Keeping that bar crunch during granola bar production
Developing the granola bar’s crunch depends on its and baking process. How you design your sheeting process determines the appropriate thickness of your granola bars. Setting the distance between your sheeter rollers and controlling the speed of sheeting develops the texture of your bars.
Baking parameters you use during your granola bar production facilitates the melting of sugars and helps achieve that perfect bar crunch. You can bake granola bars at 325 to 350 °F (162 to 176 °C) for 10 to 25 minutes.