This conversation is sponsored by General Mills
At the end of this post I alluded to making toasted oat cereal like Cheerios at home. Can it be done? Why, yes it can!
This question dates back to my trip to General Mills when we had a discussion about real food. My definition is:
In this post I flush out that definition even farther and say that I consider something to be real food if you could make it yourself if you had the time, energy and/or simple equipment.
So that’s exactly what I did. With a little guidance from the General Mills test kitchens, we developed this recipe for a toasted oat cereal like Cheerios. The final result turned out great, but let me tell you that this is not a quick or easy recipe : )
I started with good old rolled oats, since they are the base of the store version of Cheerios.
And I gave them a quick blend in my food processor
Just enough of a whirl to turn them into a flour – about 5 minutes of spin time.
In the mean time I mixed together the remaining ingredients for the dough: salt, brown sugar, corn starch, all-purpose flour, and baking powder.
That then got tossed in with the oat flour
And I added water until a nice dough came together – about 3 tablespoons.
I then kneaded the dough and formed it into a circle
And cut it into eight sections. At this point I wanted to pop this in the oven and make scones, but I had to persevere!
I draped a wet paper towel over the dough to keep it moist while I rolled out and cut the O’s.
I formed each section into a snake. I found the dough to stay together the best if I pinched it out instead of rolled.
Once my snake was about 12 inches long, I started to chop little O’s off the end. I had to taste the dough here too, and boy it was yummy!!! Sweet and doughy, of course.
Can you guess how I formed each O? A skewer!
Here they are hanging out before baking. It took me about 4-5 minutes per section times 7 sections, so this was quite the time-intensive process. But it was also very soothing.
I took the eighth segment and rolled it into a giant O!!
Then it was time for baking in a 300* oven for about 30 minutes, shaking every 5 to ensure even browning.
I baked them a pretty long time so they were very, very crunchy. Perfect for adult chompers, but not so great for a finger-food eating baby perhaps.
They turned out wonderful!!! Slightly sweet, very crunchy, oat-y cereal!
As for that jumbo…I kept her in the oven a little bit longer to accommodate for her size.
And once she was done I iced her in a coconut butter + pumpkin spice frosting and ate her on the spot!
Homemade Toasted Oat Cereal
Time: ~1.5 hours // Makes about a cup
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons water
- Heat oven to 300*F.
- In a food processor or blender, add oats and process into fine flour.
- Add corn starch, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Process until well blended and mixture is very smooth.
- In a medium bowl, add water one teaspoon at a time using just enough water until dough forms (about 3 tablespoons total).
- Knead dough a few times and form into a circle.
- Cut dough into 8 equal sections, and cover with a wet paper towel to keep dough from drying out while you work.
- On a lightly floured surface, working with one section at a time pinch out into a long, thin, round snake, about a foot long.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into thin slices, about 1/4-inch thick.
- Use a skewer, make a hole in the center of the dough piece and reshape into a circle.
- Place in a single layer on ungreased baking pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or until dry and lightly browned.
- Cool completely, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.
While the recipe for commercial Cheerios is confidential and contains a few extra ingredients, mostly to keep the Cheerios dough at an optimal pH and to preserve the cereal, I consider this to be a very close replica.
This experiment was so much fun! But let’s be real – I certainly don’t have the time to make all of my cereal from scratch. It took me about 2 hours to make just a cup of O’s. I found myself thinking: “There should be a machine invented to do this for me!” (And I’m sure that’s how the first Cheerios came about…: ) ) But it answers my question that if I had all the time in the world I certainly could make O’s like Cheerios at home.
This conversation was sponsored by General Mills