Friday, December 22, 2006

Belated Recipe Posting, Part 1

Alisha asked for the bagel recipe a long time ago, and I'm hoping to make these over the holidays with my family (and want to avoid lugging the big book over to the island with me), so here it is in case others want to give them a try too. It's amazingly easy (yay for the food processor), and so so yummy!

from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (I don't know how I'd live without this book – it's not glamorous, but it's trustworthy and dependable enough that I don't mind)
Makes 8–12 bagels
Time: 3–4 hours, largely unattended

3 1/2 cups bread or all purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, or sugar (I used molasses, which became quite a prominent flavour, but was tasty)
1 1/4 cups water, plus more as needed
Canola oil, as needed for greasing cooling rack and baking sheet

1. Place flour in food processor (fitted with the steel blade, not plastic dough blade). Add salt, yeast, and sweetener and process for 5 seconds. With the machine running, pour (don't drizzle) all of the water through the feed tube. Process about 30 seconds, then remove the cover. The dough should be in a well-defined ball, only slightly sticky and very easy to handle. If the dough is too dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time and process for 5 or 10 seconds after each addition. If it is too wet, add a tbsp or two of flour and process briefly. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter or tabletop and knead for a minute or two longer by hand, adding as much flour as necessary to make a smooth, tough, very elastic dough.
2. Dump the lump of dough into a large bowl. Cover loosely with a plastic bag, plasic wrap, or towel. Let rise for about 2 hours, at room temp, or until dough has about doubled in bulk.
3. Deflate the dough ball and let it rest on a lightly floured surface, covered, for about 10 min. cut it into 8 or 12 equal pieces (for large or small bagels). Poke a hole in the middle of each ball and pull into a bagel shape (fun!). Keep the balls covered as you work, and lightly flour and cover the shaped bagels as well. When they're all done, cover and let rise for about 30 min.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Drop the bagels, one at a time, into the boiling water; don't crowd. The bagels will sink, then rise to the surface. Boil 1 min on each side, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a lightly greased rack to drain. *this is when you can dip them in toppings if you like (place topping, ie. sesame seeds, on a plate and dip one side of each bagel in just before baking)
5.Lightly greese a baking sheet. Spray the inside of the oven to create steam, then put the bagels in the oven. After 5 min, spray again. Bake 20–25 min, or until the bagels are nicely browned. Remove, and cool on a wire rack.

I tried two toppings – sesame seeds, which was classic and tasty, and fleur de sel mixed with chopped fresh herbs which was incredibly addictive. You can also add various flavours to the dough itself (knead in by hand after removing dough from the food processor – Mark suggests sauted onions, or raisins with cinnamon. Next time I'm going to try sundried tomatoes, or maybe romano cheese, or . . . Try anything you like, go wild!



Leeeeesha said...

Thanks Meg! I don't know if I'll have a chance to make the bagels here, in Edmonton, but I definitely want to try the recipe at some point soon. Also, guess what? I bought a microplane and some tongs today, and am pretty excited about both purchases. Yay for new cooking utensils!

Meg said...

That's so great – you're gonna love the microplane!

Also, I'm so happy that you made the "yummiest pasta ever" for your family. Of course they loved it! You should definitely post some photos of it, and maybe the recipe? It's one of my stand-bys now, and has been adapted many times. But you know, not one has managed to be as delicious as the first time we made it . . .

claire said...

Just wanted to post a quick comment to say thanks for the inspiration, Meg! I

made bagels at my mom's this weekend, with the help of my friend Anicka and we were pretty pleased with the results. We tried 3 flavours: rosemary and seasalt, sesame, and gouda. Today we enjoyed them with cream cheese and left-over salmon. Yum!

They were a little tough, though, so I'd like to see if I achieve that lovely firmness without so much chewiness. Let me know if you have any advice!