Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bagels! Who knew they were so easy?

This is my 3rd round of homemade bagels in recent weeks, but I'm just getting to posting this time round.  I made bagels many years ago that turned out more like flagels than bagels.  I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to try again, but I'm really glad I did.  King Arthur Flour makes a high gluten Sir Lancelot flour that has a great recipe on the package.

Last weekend I made these with my mom in Delaware with Bread Flour and they were just as good.  I also got some authentic non-diastic malt powder for this round, but regular sugar works just as well.  I also topped half of them with Everything Bread & Bagel Topping.  

Enjoy with your favorite bagel spread.  I'm having cashew cream cheese from Artisan Vegan Cheese.

Other than using good, high protein/high gluten flour and following a recipe, there are some new tricks I learned.

1.  Unless you love kneading, use a bread machine on dough setting.  Or probably a food processor or kitchen-aid mixer with a dough hook.  The gluten needs to be worked well for this kind of smooth elastic consistency.  I know the bread machine does a better job than me and it's timed at 1.5 hours, so all I do it measure the ingredients and in an hour and a half I have perfect dough.

2.  Use a silpat.  Yes it probably costs more than the pan you're using, but make your life easy and get this non-stick beauty.  

3.  When you form the bagel hole, make it bigger than you think it should be.  It will shrink as they sit, then boil.  Not sure how to describe this, but I rolled it around my fingers through the center and this worked really well.

Here's the bagels being boiled

4.  If you're using a topping, put the bagels in the water right side up first, then flip.  This way the top will be on the bottom and you can slide onto your plate with the topping.  Then flip back on the baking sheet.  If you're not topping, do the opposite and put them in the water top side down, then flip, and slide onto the baking sheet.

After boiling with topping added.  Ready to Bake.

5.  Although you really should let them cool first, if the amazing smell of baking bagels is making your stomach growl so loud it scares the cats, then just go ahead and slice one right from the oven and enjoy.  You don't need to toast it.

Fresh from the oven.  Yum!

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