Monday, September 28, 2009

BBA Challenge #4 Bagels

I love bagels.  And I love these bagels more than any other bagel I’ve tasted.  Maybe because I had to knead them for thirty minutes and when you’ve invested that much time into a relationship with some flour and yeast you are compelled to love them.  But truly, they taste as good as they look and I keep peeking at them because I can’t quite believe that they are this pretty:
 bagels 191
The fourth bread in the BBA Challenge; bagels, taste fantastic.  An overnight snooze in the fridge brought out their malty, yeasty  flavor.   A quick dip in the bagel spa (boiling water) gave them a chewy exterior and a generous hand with sesame seeds and kosher salt gave my taste buds a hearty wake-up-and-smell-the-bagels call this morning.
These were a family activity.  I’ll tell you right now it’s with mixed emotions I approach baking with a 3 and 6 year old.  At no time does flour reach greater heights than when E is doing the stirring.  
But in this case, I was glad for the company. 
This was the stiffest dough I’ve ever worked with.   Still two cups from finishing the flour and my Kitchen Aid whined at me to take pity.  I dumped the dough on the counter and kneaded the remaining flour in by hand.
 bagel harvest fair 165
Ten minutes later the flour was incorporated but it took another twenty minutes of kneading to pass the window pane test.  J and E kneaded their dough along with me and time really flies when your 6 year old unloads her whole arsenal of bug jokes.

bagel harvest fair 169
Once you shape the dough into balls you get to rest for 20 minutes while the gluten relaxes, then you shape the bagels. 
You can either roll the balls into a “snake” and then join the ends (J and E’s favored method) or press your thumb through the center of the ball and shape the bagel around it.

bagel harvest fair 178
More resting and then your dough has to pass the float test.  Kind of like Kinder one swim class for bagels.  Drop in room temp water and if it floats within ten seconds it passes.  Sink…back to the counter for ten minutes.  Mine passed the first time round so they went straight to the fridge where they rested overnight. 
bagel harvest fair 176 
The hard part is done, unless you count having to wait until morning to see and taste the fruits of all that labor.  When you’re ready to cook your bagels, preheat your oven to 500 degrees and boil a pot of water.  When its at a full boil,  toss in a tablespoon of baking soda.  Plop your bagels in and boil a minute on each side:

bagel harvest fair 183
Adorn them with your favorite toppings.  I dressed mine up with sesame seeds and kosher salt. 
bagel harvest fair 201
Finally!  Some nearly instant gratification…bake them for five minutes, spin the pan, reduce the heat to 450 and bake another five minutes and they are done!
bagels 172
Sensational with cream cheese, sublime with peanut butter and jelly.  These cuties (we made mini-bagels) will turn a few heads, and so will your shapely and toned upper arms thanks to all that kneading.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

sandraj said...

Wow what a lot of work. I,M SURE THEY ARE GREAT.PHOPE