Bagels! Homemade bagels! Probably the baking item that I am most proud of! So much so, that I put off blogging about it until I had the time to do it right.
First, I was really sick. It was the never ending cold/sinus/allergy illness that comes from teaching in a confined room with students. Just found out that strep throat was passing through the 6th grade, really hoping to not get it!
Then, I became insanely busy. A lot of papers to grade, a lot of hours at my second and third jobs, not much sleep, or writing. I did, however, continue cooking…just neglected to write about cooking.
So my resolution, dear readers, is to post at least three times a week, hopefully more! Now on to the bagels.
Warning: This recipe, while not require a lot of ‘hands on time’, is rather time intensive…there is a lot of waiting! Please set aside at least 3 hours…
A lot of bagels found in publix are vegan by nature. They do not contain eggs, there are no dairy products in them…they are inexpensive and convenient. Despite all of these redeeming qualities, I decided to try to make my own, from scratch. Using Pennies and Pancakes- Basic Bagels, sent to me by Kristina, a list of ingredients, a bread machine, pot of water, and an oven, I managed to make homemade bagels.
2 cups warmish water
1 tsp. dry active yeast
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. olive oil (separate occasions!)
1 Tbsp. salt
6 cups bread flour
In a bowl, mix together the water, yeast, and 2 tbs of sugar. Let this concoction sit for 10 minutes. Then, add in the 1 tbs of olive oil, the flour, and the salt. The original recipe suggests using a standing mixer…I do not own one of these! I do, however, have a bread machine! So I lugged out my bread machine, placed the crudely mixed dough in the proper compartment, and set it to knead, and did laundry for 11-15 minutes. Timing may vary. The dough needs to be pliable and not sticky…I had to add more flour after the bread machine in order to make this a reality. (please note, you can also stir and knead by hand…and instead of laundry, you are getting a workout! check off another task on the neverending todo list)
Once the dough is up to par, roll it into a ball, brush the teaspoon of olive oil on it, and set it on a dish under a damp towel for about one hour. The dough is good when it ‘springs back’ when you poke it.
After the dough has risen (and you have done several chores…or napped), separate the dough into 12 pieces, roll out the pieces into 7-8 inch ropes, and form donuts. I found that rolling the dough between my palms was an effective strategy. It is important to remember to pinch together the ends of the dough to form perfect rings!
Let these sit, under a damp towel for another 30 minutes. Go finish cleaning!
During the 30 minutes, you also want to place a large pot on the stove (about 4 qt, half filled with water), and boil it. You also need to find a slotted spoon, or some other device for dipping things into the water without substantial burns. You also need to preheat your oven to 500 F.
Once the 30 minutes is up, take the bagels, three at a time, and dip them into the boiling water. Flip them after a minute, and at the second minute, take them out and rest them on a dish. Repeat until all bagels have been dipped.
Now for the fun part! Picking the toppings! I originally was resigned to only doing plain, as I did not know how they were going to turn out…but at the last minute, I decided to play with my options. For two of the bagels, I mixed cinnamon and sugar, and sprinkled the mixture on top. I made two with sea salt as a topping, and two more with garlic salt. One was with vegan mozzarella (daiya) and one with vegan cheddar (gourmet vegan). The last four were left plain.
I placed the now mostly dressed bagels on two lined baking sheets, and shoved the sheets in the oven for 15 minutes. After 10, I poked around with a spatula to ensure that they were not sticking to the tray.
So, two and half hours after my adventure started, I was staring at 12 perfect bagels.
I am hardly ashamed to say that I ate two the first night! They were great for breakfast (duh!), lunch, and dinner as bread for a pressed sandwich!
I also brought in some to work and got great reviews! Maybe next time I will double the recipe and freeze a dozen of them…to cut down on the time.