February 8, 2012

Bagels: The New Donut

How do you spell donut?  Doughnut? Dohnut? Doenuht? Seriously, tell me. These are the things that keep me up at night. Thankyouverymuch.

Speaking of round things that often have holes in them and are generally unhealthy, I made bagels.  Did you know you can make bagels at home?  Apparently, you can.  Also, did you know that you boil bagels?  Apparently, you do.  And, do you know how satisfying it is to eat something & knowing every ingredient that went into it?  Apparently, it is uber satisfying.
Apparently, I learned a lot in my bagel endeavor.

A month ago, a fellow blogger posted about his bagel-making endeavor.  I was inspired.  So, here you have it - the great Boboth Bagel Adventure of 2012.

Per Seth's suggestion, I used Melinda Lee's recipe for Jo Goldenberg's Parisian Bagels.  Yes, Parisian.  Are you impressed yet?  And, after having done a test run, I would choose no other way.
 Yeah, there's dough involved.  Go figure.  Knead the dough: Knead the dough at medium low speed on the mixer – or by hand (using a push, turn and fold motion, energetically) for about 10 minutes – or until the dough is firm and solid when pinched with the fingers. Add flour as needed if the dough is sticky in your hands, or sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl (if using electric mixer). 
Prepare the baking sheet: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with shortening and sprinkle the baking sheet with cornmeal. 
First Rising: When dough is kneaded enough, place it in an oiled mixing bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature until it has doubled in volume – about 1 hour. 


Shape the bagels: When the dough has doubled in volume, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and punch it down with extended fingers to remove excess gas. 

Divide the dough into 10 pieces (each will weigh about 3-4 ounces). Shape each piece into a ball. Allow the balls to stand and relax for a few minutes – then flatten each one with the palm of your hand. 

With your thumb, press deep into the center of the bagel and tear the depression open with your fingers. Pull the hole open, pull it down over a finger and smooth the rough edges. It should look like a bagel! Form all of the bagels and place them on your work surface. 

 This was completely my favorite part.
Second Rising: Cover the shaped bagels with wax paper or parchment paper. Leave them at room temperature just until the dough has risen slightly – about 10 minutes (this is called a “half proof”). 
Prepare water bath: Near the end of this rising time, bring the 3 quarts of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the malt syrup or sugar; then, reduce the heat and leave the water just barely moving – at a slow simmer. 
Water-bathing the bagels: Into the gently simmering water prepared earlier, slip one bagel at a time (use a large skimmer, and gently lower them into the water). Simmer only 2 or 3 bagels at a time – do not crowd the pan. The bagels will sink and then rise again after a few seconds. Simmer gently for one minute, turning each bagel over once during that time. Lift each bagel out of the water with the skimmer, drain briefly on a towel, then place each bagel on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all bagels are simmered, drained and on the baking sheet.
Baking the bagels: Brush each bagel lightly with the egg-white-water mixture.
Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. When the bagel tops are a light brown, turn them over to complete baking. This turning-over step will keep the bagels in a rounded shape, instead of their being flat on the bottom. When brown and shiny, remove the finished bagels from the oven.  Place the bagels on a metal rack to cool.



MAKES 10-12 LARGE BAGELS
Ingredients3 1/2 cups (approximately), bread flour [or substitute all-purpose flour]
2 packages, dry yeast
3 tablespoons, sugar
1 tablespoon, salt
1 1/2 cups, hot water (120-130 degrees)
3 quarts water
1 1/2 tablespoons, barley malt syrup [or substitute sugar in the same amount]
1 egg white – beaten with 1 teaspoon, water
topping of choice, if any (see Variations, below)
cornmeal for sprinkling on the baking sheet

(all recipe instructions taken directly from Melinda Lee's recipe. No alterations. For a better idea of how to make them and for other variations, visit her website.)

Enjoy with Love.


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