Practice Bagels

(scroll down for an update on my 40th birthday plans)

I have a culinary bucket l  It’s not terribly long, though I do add to it on occasion.  I blogged a bit about it on A Single Step (the blog my inner everything else booted my inner foodie from earlier this year).  Looking back on the post, I see that not only have I not tackled much, I didn’t mention bagels on there.

They look so simple.  Dough.  I can make dough.  Roll & shape.  Bob Blumer learned to shape bagels in no time on his show.  How hard can it be?   Boil.  Easy.  Bake.  Great, I’ve got it nailed.

Culinary ego is so cute, isn’t it?  Here’s a pic of my shaping attempt, post-boil, to cure that in a hurry.

Yeah, um.  I want to know how many hours of practice landed on the editing room floor before Bob was able to turn out something that looked half-way decent.  I also want the recipe, because the one I used turned out a very, very stiff dough that needed more water, taxed my Kitchen Aid to the point of the motor binding and smelling hot and left my arms fatigued from kneading.  The result is also a bit bland tasting.

So I’m calling these practice bagels.  I’m not crossing them off of my bucket list yet.  I’ll try again, with a recipe that calls for an overnight rise, or even a biga.  In the meantime, here is the recipe, adapted from All Recipes.  Please leave any tips or tricks for improving the flavour and/or the appearance in the comments section.  I’d appreciate any help offered.

Pretty picture of an ugly bagel

Practice Bagels

  •     1 1/4 cups water
  •     4 1/2 cups flour
  •     3 tablespoons white sugar
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •     1 tablespoon instant yeast
  •     4 quarts water
  •     1 cup honey (I eyeballed it)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Combine the first amount of water, 4 cups of flour, sugar, salt, oil, and yeast in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed using the dough hook until well-kneaded, adding more flour if needed.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled.

Punch the dough down, place it on a lightly floured work surface, 12-18 pieces.  Roll each piece of dough into a sausage shape about 6 inches long. Join the ends to form a circle. Let the bagels rest for 15 minutes.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add honey (or malt syrup if you have any).  Boil three or four bagels at a time, about 1 minute per side. Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until they are nicely browned, 10-15 minutes.  I topped a few with sesame seeds.

40th birthday update

A huge thanks to everyone who has retweeted and otherwise shared my last post about wanting to donate 40 jars of peanut-free, school safe spread to the local food bank.  And a huge thanks to those who have pledged to donate jars to your own local organizations.  Please keep spreading the word.  If I knew how to have a ticker keeping track in the sidebar, I’d add one.  So far I know of a few people who will be donating jars to food banks.  If you’re going to, please let me know.  After my birthday, I’ll blog about how the project went.

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