What’s the point?
Maybe that’s not the question to ask.
All I know that it was quite thrilling to find that I could indeed make my own bagels. I know that bagels are not that hard to come by and they really don’t have the greatest reputation after the whole Atkins movement, but perhaps that’s what compelled me.
Let me bake something that I can get at any grocery store or deli, that isn’t chocolate, and doesn’t have sprinkles on it. Oh and something that’s controversial.
Does Dr. Atkins feel any remorse?
I won’t play judge, but I will tell you that homemade bagels are not too hard to make and they are rather tasty. Can anyone honestly say that they do not like the taste of a warm, toasted bagel?
Didn’t think so.
So, here we have it. The bagels:
(You can’t tell this just by reading, but I couldn’t find my camera to upload the pictures, so I went down to the basement freezer for some Rocky Road biscotti. I did find the camera, obviously and I do think that eating the biscotti had something to do with it. It must have been the chocolate. Mmmm. They are incredibly good straight from the freezer. Was I supposed to save them for something?)
The recipe I used comes from (drum-roll…) How to Bake by Nick Malgieri. I can’t begin to explain what this one little (big, really) book has done to me. I have yet to find a disappointing recipe.
I hope Nick’s alright with me sharing his findings.
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 1/2 cups warm tap water
5 to 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons salt
Egg wash: 1 egg white well beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Optional toppings: sesame seeds, coarse salt, poppy seeds, chopped dried garlic, etc.
Makes 10 to 12 bagels.
1. Whisk the yeast into warm water and set aside.
2. Combine 5 cups of flour, the sugar and the salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to mix. Add the yeast mixture and pulse until the dough forms a ball. Let it rest for 5 minutes and then run the machine for 30 seconds. Knead in the remaining flour by hand.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough over a few times to coat the surfaces. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest until it has doubled, about 1 hour.
4. Bring a 5-quart saucepan of water to a simmer.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into ten or twelve equal pieces and then roll each piece into a 10-inch cylinder. Keep a piece of plastic wrap over the rest of the dough while you work to prevent it from drying out. Moisten the ends of each cylinder with water and then press the ends together to make a circle.
6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
7. Lower 2 bagels at time into the simmering water and cook for a minute, turning each bagel over once during this time. Remove the bagels and place on a rack. Once the bagels are dry, brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle them with toppings.
8. Place on a baking sheet lined with oiled foil. Bake the bagels for about 30 minutes.
9. Transfer to cooling racks.
Enjoy these bagels fresh or freshly toasted with a smear of cream cheese or butter. They’re good with anything on them really. BLT bagel, anyone?