DSC01750I’m not a dedicated breakfast cereal consumer. In fact, I’d say I’m rather promiscuous when it comes to breakfast. Anything goes: lentil soup, cheese quesadillas, peanut butter and apples, trail mix, mac & cheese, eggs, cream of buckwheat, corn Chex, pancakes, sandwiches, egg salad, black bean soup, miso soup, stir-fry, etc.

However, there are a few occasions when cereal is handy to have around. For a while, I made my own muesli mix (but guess what? It had wheat flakes, barley flakes, spelt flakes, and rye flakes in it…). I bought a fair number of the above-mentioned boxes of commercial cereal when I moved to Ithaca (it was wicked hot that first month). As we were/are heading back into warm weather, I thought I’d finally give a homemade cereal flake a spin. Mark Bittman had a recipe for one in Food Matters, and there are a number of them floating around the web.

Several batches later, my basic suggestions for baking basic cereal flakes:
1) Use less batter rather than more. One cup flour is a little much for my small baking pans, but probably works well for larger ones.
2) Even that batter out! Thicker areas will be more likely to not bake though while thin ones edge toward over-browning.
3) Skimp on the sugar. Two tablespoons is actually quite sweet for about one cup flour (many recipes on the web call for 3-4 T per cup flour).
4) Haul out the coffee grinder to grind whole grains for specialty flours rather than buying a whole bag if it’s not something you typically use. Coarse grinds work quite well in these flakes.

Amaranth Flax Flakes

1/2 c amaranth flour
1/2 c millet flour
2 T ground golden flax seeds
1 c water
1 T jelly or jam
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix together all the ingredients well , and pour the batter evenly over the parchement paper. Smooth it into as even a layer as possible. Bake, for 20 minutes or until beginning to brown, then remove from the parchment paper and break into peices. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until many pieces are browned. Cool, and store in an airtight container.

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