Monday, September 16, 2013

Three Hour Bagels

The grown ups in our house are NOT morning people. However, we have a toddler, so somebody is always up in the mornings. We have a good weekend system... one parent gets Saturdays, one parent gets Sundays to sleep in and the other one spends the wee dark hours doing puzzles, reading stories and making extra pots of coffee. Sunday mornings are generally my mornings to get up early. This morning, the tiny tot and I made bagels! I'd never made bagels, but I read this recipe in the food section of the Oregonian newspaper a while back. I love yummy recipes that are easy enough to make on a weekend morning, but involved enough that you get an awesome result. I used the recipe in the Oregonian with some technique changes from Smitten Kitchen. These are chewy and soft and really delicious. I ate mine toasted up with cream cheese and tomatoes from my garden. Awesome!

Three Hour Bagels - from the Oregonian and Smitten Kitchen 
Makes 8 medium sized bagels
1 1/4 cups warm water (divided)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour (more for kneading - I needed about 1 cup extra)
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg (for egg wash - beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water)
1 tablespoon baking soda - for boiling
Toppings - I used only kosher salt, but both recipes I used mentioned minced garlic, onion, poppy seeds or sesame seeds as options.

In a small bowl, add 1/2 cup warm water. Add in the sugar and yeast, but don't stir. Let this sit for 5 minutes and then stir to combine.

While the yeast bubbles, in a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture. Pour in the remaining water and stir to make a shaggy dough. 

On floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes. (I kneaded by hand this morning, but have read that 10 minutes by hand is equal to about 6 minutes in a stand mixture with the bread hook engaged.) I used about 1 more cup of flour to get a nice, smooth, satiny ball of dough - not sticky, but not dry.

Lightly coat a large bowl with oil. Add the dough and turn it so that it is coated with oil. Cover the bowl with a damp dish town and let it rise in a warm place. (If it's cool out, I place a dish towel in the microwave and nuke it for 20 seconds and then put my bread bowl in the microwave with the hot towel. Voila!! Warm, moist place!)

Let the dough rise for one hour. When the dough is double it's original size, punch it down and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and cut it into 8 equal wedges.

Roll and shape each wedge into a smooth ball. Poke a hole in the middle and stretch it out until the hole is about 2 inches in diameter. I slung the bagel around my finger like a hula hoop. The dough really wants to bounce back, so I needed to make a nice, big hole.

At this point, preheat the oven to 450 and start a large bowl of water to boil. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray and then sprinkle with corn meal. 

When the water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the water - it will fizz a lot - and then drop in 4 bagels and boil for 2 minutes. Flip and boil for another 2 minutes.

Place boiled bagels on the baking sheet and brush with the egg wash and top with desired toppings - I only used kosher salt, but it seems anything that sticks to an egg wash would be fair game. 

Bake 10 minutes and then rotate pan 180 degrees and bake until golden brown. My bagels needed a total baking time of 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and then EAT!! I sliced and toasted my bagel, spread it with cream cheese and topped it with sliced tomatoes and more salt. Sunday morning heaven!!

My little man LOVED making bagels with me... here is a picture that melts my heart of him waiting for the bagels to bake. (All the pictures with that tiny lump of dough and that "baby bagel" are his very own creations. He was awesome!!)

Things made this time last year...
Thai Basil Meatballs with Mango Coconut Rice

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Sole

Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

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