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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bagels

The smell of fresh baked bread wafting through the house is one of life's little pleasures. Store bought bread just does not compare. Homemade breads are very frugal to make regardless of how you make the dough and you control the ingredients. I've been making homemade breads ever since we married years ago and still make most of the breads we eat. It always surprises me to hear someone marvel at the taste of my breads followed by the comment that breadmaking is so much work. You would be surprised at how easy making bread is!

Breadmachines and stand mixers take a lot of the work out of kneading the dough and free up valuable time. I have and still occasionally use a Black & Decker All-in-One Plus™ breadmaker bought in the late 1980s. It still works nicely and has been a real workhorse but more and more I was using for making the dough only as we prefer breads baked in the oven. The second problem I ran into with the breadmaker was the limitation of the amount of dough that could be made at one time. Traditional recipes had to be adjusted for the breadmaker as well. This often meant making two or more batches of dough and because they were proofing at different times the oven had to be on for longer periods for the baking. This year I bought a KitchenAid® Professional series stand mixer as a way to eliminate as many single purpose small appliances as possible. I have been testing and converting my favourite breadmachine recipes to use with the stand mixer.

I made bagels yesterday using the recipe (see below) from my breadmachine manual except I used the KitchenAid® stand mixer. The yield was nine large bagels. This recipe could easily be doubled.

I think the biggest change for me was determining when the dough had been kneaded enough. The dough was mixed on Speed 2 until smooth and elastic (1) for a total of about 4 minutes. Then I covered the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough proof. Once the dough had proofed, I divided it into somewhat equal portions (2) on a sheet of parchment paper to rise. I omitted the step of greasing the top electing instead to cover them with parchment paper then laying a tea towel on top.

What gives bagels their unique texture is boiling them for a short period before baking. According to Breadtime by Susan Jane Cheney it is the shape and method of cooking not the dough that makes a bagel a bagel. Her method is to boil a minute or two on each side in lightly salted water. The instructions for this bagel recipe was to simmer 5 to 6 minutes per side in water with a tbsp of sugar added. Either method will give good results. Before baking the bagels were brushed with an egg yolk and water mixture. The end result (4) was worth waiting for.

Ready to Enjoy

The outside of the bagels is a nice golden brown. I opted to leave them plain as this was a test batch. After brushing on the egg mix, the bagels can be sprinkled with poppy or sesame seeds, diced onion, garlic chips or cheddar cheese if desired. The taste and texture got two thumbs up from my husband and son who basically just inhaled. Five of the nine bagels are already gone so by tonight they will likely all be gone! I will be making a double batch next leaving half plain and topping the other half but I have decided with what. Now I just have to work on forming them a bit better.

Bagels

modified for using a stand mixer by Garden Gnome


1 c water
1 1/2 tsp organic sugar
1 tsp sea salt
3 c unbleached flour
1 tsp instant dry yeast

Combine the sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the mixing bowl. Mix on Speed 2 with spiral dough hook then slowly pour in the water. Continue mixing on Speed 2 until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl adding a bit more water if needed. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot free from drafts to proof. When the dough is double in size, remove from bowl and divide into 10 equal portions. Form into round, smooth balls. Using your thumbs make a 1 1/2 inch hole in the center of each ball. Place on parchment paper and cover with parchment paper with a tea towel on top. Allow to rise for 30 minutes or until double. Bring 3 quarts of water and 1 tbsp of organic sugar to a boil. Reduce the temperature to simmer. Simmer 3 to 4 bagels at a time in the water for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place on greased baking sheet dusted with cornmeal (optional). Brush with egg yolk mixed with a little water. Sprinkle on toppings if desired. Bake at 400ºF (200ºC) 25 to 30 minutes.
Yield: 10 bagels


4 food lovers commented:

tweezle said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been considering making bagels for a long time, but always put it off. Now that I've seen your post, I MUST try them! :)

Garden Gnome said...

Oh you are quite welcome! Please let me know how your bagels come out.

tweezle said...

I sure will! The garden is winding down now, so I should actually have some free time to try these out soon. Thanks again!

Garden Gnome said...

You are welcome tweezie. I hope your garden fared well this year.