Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Homemade bagels

Homemade bagels were one of the things I had on my list of recipes to try while I'm on maternity leave. I haven't tried many recipes with yeast dough but would really like to explore that. I used a recipe that our friends Neilam & Jen recommended. They were a lot easier than I expected and the taste and texture turned out well.  Unfortunately, the camera seems to have eaten the pictures and neither Dave nor I can find them on our computers. But I know my mom and a couple of other friends were thinking of trying them so here's how they turned out:

The recipe I used, originally from Nigella Lawson, was found on Bri Says: "Seizeon That Food!"  I made some plain, some onion & salt, some poppy or sesame seed, and several everything bagels.

A few notes:
  • Jen recommended using brown sugar in the poaching liquid, which saved me from having to buy malt.
  • When forming the bagels, it turned out much better when I rolled the dough into a ball and then poked a hole in the center rather than making a long rope and then looping that. The rope method didn't always stay together in the poaching liquid. Annie's Eats  has a photo of this, but uses slightly different process for the rest of the recipe.
  • Next time, I would try not to stretch them out so much, as some of them were flat and skinny, making them difficult to slice.  
  •  Some of the bagels stuck on the greased cookie sheets, even though I re-greased while the bagels were poaching. Next time I'd use parchment paper (or maybe a Silpat?) and spray that with a non-stick cooking spray like Pam. The Annie's Eats bagel recipe also recommends sprinkling the parchment with cornmeal or semolina flour before replacing the poached bagels on it & baking. 
  •  If I was going to make bagels with mix-ins in the dough, like cinnamon raisin, I'd do that after the first step Bri lists. With toppings, as with an everything bagel, I sprinkled them on after the poaching while the dough was still wet.  
  •  "Everything” topping from, found via Annie's Eats (makes more than you need, so store it in a Tupperware)
    • 4 teaspoons poppy seeds
    • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds
    • 4 teaspoons dried garlic flakes
    • 4 teaspoons dried onion flakes
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or coarse sea salt 
  • Some of the bagels, especially the everything ones, got a little chewy after 3 days or so, so I'd recommend freezing the ones you won't use by then. They defrost and reheat well. 
Next on the baking experimentation list: bread/baguettes and pizza dough!

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