Saturday, May 23, 2009

foodurday - homemade bagels!

Today I made deeeeelicious bagels. FOR. FREE. Or sort of free because I already had all the ingredients, so it felt free. I used the recipe found here. (BTW, give that URL a peek and notice that it says "nadrolled_water_bagels" - I don't have nads to roll with, so I just used my hands. Seemed to work okay.)

What I liked about this recipe is that it begins with just dumping all the ingredients in the bowl at the same time, but it's not easy to stir. I had to add about an extra 1/4 cup of water to the dough, but don't add any extra water til you can tell you definitely need it.



The dough looked all crumbly and awful, but once I kneaded it a little, it came together. Then I kneaded it for TEN FUCKING MINUTES because I do not have a KitchenAid stand mixer (HINT HINT HINT), and I got such a workout that I don't think I need to go to the gym today. Woot woot! Kneading is some hard fucking work.



Then divide it into eighths, which I did with a pizza cutter. Super easy.



Then I rolled them into balls. Heh. Balls.

NOW comes the hard part. After they've rested, if you want to do it the Right and Traditional and Respectable Way, you roll each ball out until it's a rope long enough to wrap around your hand with enough overlap to securely squish it closed into a loop, like so:



(This is a little different because the baker is working with one long roll of dough instead of little dough balls, but you get the idea.)

This is hard. I did it for the two of them on the far left of the picture below, but then I got irritated because I think my dough was a little too stiff or something because it didn't want to roll out worth a shit. SOOOO, I did it the Easy Way, which I found here. The Easy Way basically consists of squishing your thumb through the middle of the dough ball until you get a hole. Easy. Then because I am a culinary genius I figured out how to even it out and widen the hole without ripping the dough, of which method I have kindly provided an instructional video:



Results:



Then they need to rest a little while longer. Preheat the oven and get your big pot of water boiling. One of the recipes I read said the water needed to be barely simmering; the other didn't mention what manner of boil was appropriate. I tried both, and it seemed not to matter. Oh, ALSO, according to the recipes and photos, the bagels were supposed to sink and then float right back up when dropped into the water. This did not happen for me. They sank like rocks and stuck to the bottom, but I only had to loosen them off the bottom once right after they dropped, and then they were fine. They never actually floated UP, which made the flipping part rather moot. I was extremely concerned about this, and thought maybe my yeast didn't activate or something, but they turned out fine.

Okay, so after they boil for 2 minutes each, you can top them if you want. If not, you'll just have plain water bagels. I let mine drip on a cooling rack lined with paper towels for a minute til I could handle them, and then I squished them into a plate of coarse kosher salt, caraway seeds, and flax seeds.

Then I transferred them, topping side up, to a cookie sheet that I had sprayed and then dusted with cornmeal (this is not required, but suggested by the second recipe I linked above). I think just spraying the pan would have been fine.



Flip 'em after 10 minutes. This will not disturb the toppings (much).



And then eat them!! But let them cool first. I didn't, and I burned my mouth.

They actually taste more like a giant soft pretzel to me than an actual bagel, but giant soft pretzels are delicious, so whatever. Enjoy!

Note: If you're like my mom and track every calorie that passes your lips, these have a little over 200-250ish apiece. That includes the flax seed topping, which has more calories than I had thought it would, but they are quite good for you, I hear, so whatever.
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EDIT:

This is a much better video for how to roll & twist them -



AND his dough looks totally different from mine. It was not nearly as pliable or stretchy, so I guess mine was too dry. I'll add more water next time, but as I said before, still yummers.

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OMG EDIT # 2:

I think I forgot to put in the sugar. I bet that's why they are like giant pretzels. Whoops.

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