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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Friday, May 22, 2009

Recipe Geek: Homemade Bagels

I'm still doing the low-processed carb thing, but decided to take a night off from it and try the homemade bagel recipe. I'll be taking some of them up to Missy when I visit her tomorrow, so that's my other excuse.
Being from California, I'm not a bagel snob. Genuine Montreal bagels, New York style bagels, supermarket bagels stored in my freezer for several months, it's all good as long as it's toasted and has cream cheese, butter or peanut butter on it. However, this recipe intrigued me. It sounded so easy. Besides, these are Parisian bagels. I've made bagels once, back in high school. I remember it being a lot of work and the bagels were dense like hockey pucks. My brother and I ate them anyway.
I dumped the ingredients into my handy dandy mixer, set the timer for 12 minutes and let it mix/knead. It's a pretty simple dough - flour, water, salt, sugar and yeast. I then placed the dough in a gretased bowl and let it rise for an hour while I talked on the phone to my mom. At that point, I preheated the oven and brought 3 quarts of water (with a hint of sugar) to a simmer. I divided the dough into 12 balls, flattened them slightly, poked a hole in the middle and then stretched/shaped them until they were bagel shaped. At this point you're supposed to let them rest for only ten minutes. I waited a little bit too long before the water bath. As a result, the bagels did not sink when i dropped them into the boiling water, which allegedly leads to slight texture differences which I'm sure I will not be able to detect.
Anyway, I dropped the bagels into the simmering water and cooked them for about a minute, flipping them over once. I then drained them briefly on a towel, placed them on cookie sheets, and baked them for 30 minutes. My house smelled like a bagel shop. When the bagels were golden brown, I took them out. I may have baked them a little bit too long since I was distracted by writing this blog. As you can see they're pretty dark but not burnt.
Taste test: They're very tasty hot out of the oven. They have a chewy bagel texture and flavor and aren't too fluffy or too dense. They're a bit salty, so the next time I make them I'll reduce the salt. I'll also stick with the recipe instructions for sizing the bagels - I made 12 instead of 10 and some were kind of puny.
Overall, it was easy and entertaining. The whole process took just over 2 hours. I won't be getting up at 6 AM to have them ready in time for breakfast, but it is a nice project for a quiet evening.

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