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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Experiment #17: Bagels

My Mom was visiting me this week and what we usually do when we are together is cook.  Since we were at my house, we went through my cookbooks and looked at what was interesting to try to plan our daily meals.

I had once talked with her about a book my husband bought me for Christmas a few years ago,  Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day and so I was looking through the book with her to find something to teach her the method that is used for this type of bread, a no knead bread.

I find myself looking through this cookbook and I am interested in making several of the recipes.  I suggested making bagels which my mother approved of since she had never made them before.  I made bagels once years ago with my friend's housemate's bread machine.  I remember freshly made bagels were sublime.

The bagel recipe in the Artisan Breads in 5 minutes a Day book are Montreal bagel which the author explains has malt powder and honey added to the dough.  I really didn't want to have a Montreal bagel so I opted to omit the malt powder.

Additionally, I saw that the recipe called for honey and malt powder in the boiling water, which I didn't remember doing so I looked up recipes for new york bagels and found what I remembered doing years ago. Baking soda and kosher salt was in the boiling water.

I had not looked through the recipe quite clearly enough and when my mother and I went to make it I noticed it had a lot of sugar in the recipe and decided to omit the sugar but keep the honey.   As for the toppings, my favorite bagels are everything bagels.  I don't know exactly why, but I just love them.  Just what is on top of an everything bagel: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion, dried garlic, and caraway seeds.  We purchased everything except the caraway seeds.

Bagels adapted the Montreal Bagel Recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day By Dave Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois
Makes a Dozen Bagels
The dough
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (I use 105 to 110F.)
1 tablespoons granulated yeast
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 1/4 cup bread flour

Boiling Water adapted from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day
2 to 3 quarts of water
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Toppings:
Poppy seeds, sesame seeds (I could only find black sesame seeds in bulk), dried garlic, dried onion, kosher salt

Mixing the bagel dough:
In a 5 quart lidded (not airtight) food container, mix yeast, salt, honey, egg, oil and water.

Mix the flour without kneading, using a spoon until all the flour is incorporated.  You may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.  It was late when I made this with my Mom so I made the dough and immediately put it in the refrigerator.

The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, but it is easier to handle when cold.  Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 10 days.

Making the bagels:
Preheat the oven to 400F with a baking stone near the middle of the oven. Place an empty broiler tray on a lower shelf.

Dust surface of refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 3-ounce piece of dough (about the size of a small peach. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball.

Repeat to form the rest of the bagels.  Cover balls lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Prepare the boiling pot:
Bring a large stockpot full of water to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add baking soda and salt.

Punch your thumb through the dough and form the hold.   Stretch the hole rotating until the hole's diameter is triple the width of the bagel wall.  The hole will look kind of ridiculous but the bagel will pull back on itself.  If you don't make the hole big enough, you might not end up having the hole.

Drop the bagels into the water one at a time, making sure they are not crowding each other so they do not touch or misshapen.  Simmer for 1 minute, and then flip them over with a slotted spoon and cook the other side for 30 seconds.

Remove the bagels from the water, using a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack. (The original recipe instructs you to use a towel lightly dusted with flour, but then the toppings won't stick to the flour side of the bagel.)

Dredge each bagel in your toppings on both sides. (I love this idea of the seasonings on both sides.)  I found that making a plate with the toppings mixed together for everything bagel worked.  To have the toppings stick, I found that you really had to press the bagels into the toppings on a plate.

Place bagels directly on hot baking stone.  Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door.

Bake with steam for about 20 minutes, until richly brown and firm.

Enjoy slightly warm.

These bagels were awesome!  The only thing that I found was that they need more salt.  This has happened to me a few times when I made other recipes from this book.  I guess I'll try more salt next time.

The book on a whole is really awesome and very inspiring.  I would recommend it to those who want fresh bread and don't have a lot of time to invest.

Updated March 12, 2013: Haha ha..  Hilarious.  I adapted my bagel recipe from the Montreal bagel recipe in the book and just realized there is a bagel recipe in the book.  It doesn't have egg, honey, or oil in the dough.

Link to purchase book: Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312362919?ie=UTF8&tag=arbrinfimiada-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0312362919

Link to the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Web-site:
http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2012/03/22/bagels-on-our-first-anniversary-and-books-to-give-away

Link to Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day Bagel Recipe:http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/howtocook/primers/bagels/recipes/food/views/Bagels-366757

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