Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - Bagels!


I love bagels.  However, I find it hard to find really good ones in the stores.  So when I saw that this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe was to make bagels, I was pretty excited.  It takes a while (though way less time than many other recipes in the book), so I kept procrastinating.  I am actually finishing the baking process as I write this, very late at night on Monday so it can post Tuesday!  Silly, I know.

Many thanks to the host of this week's recipe, Heather of Heather's Bytes.  If you choose to make your own bagels (and I think you should give it a go!) please go to her blog for the recipe, or find it in the Baking with Julia book on pages 87-90.  Yes, that is several pages of recipe, but it isn't because it is difficult, it is because there are several steps and there are great descriptions as to each step.  The dough only rises 2 times, and for relatively short periods of time.  The first rise is only an hour, and the second is 4 hours or you could do it overnight (which I would recommend though this is not what I did - procrastinating, remember?) 

The recipe itself really is straightforward.  The yeast is proofed, the ingredients are mixed, and bread dough is created.  I used my Kitchenaid Mixer for this though you could theoretically do it by hand.  I just had to hold on to my poor mixer so it wouldn't dance off the table and give it encouraging words when it sounded funny.  Anyway you come up with a smooth dough that you then stick in a buttered bowl, butter the top of the dough, cover with buttered plastic (butter, butter, butter... mmm) and then let rise for an hour.  After the hour, you deflate it and stick it in the refrigerator.  Again this is for at least 4 hours or you can do it overnight.  Another food blogger in the Tuesday's with Dorie group (whom I really like - another knitter AND baker!!) gave some advice as to these bagels and said she actually forms the bagels, puts them on a baking sheet and refrigerates them that way so in the morning she has less to do.  Brilliant!  She makes these bagels often and in fact the header photo on her blog is bagels!  Check it out at loaves and stitches

Anyway, if you do it as the book says and refrigerate a ball of dough, you then remove half of the dough from the bowl and leave the rest in the refrigerator.  Divide your half of dough into 5 pieces and then form them into bagel-like shapes with huge holes (more description in the recipe!!).  Drop these ring-toss looking circles into boiling water which has sugar and baking soda added, and once they rise to the top of the water let them boil for approximately 45 seconds per side.  Remove them onto a tea towel to dry a tad bit while you do the rest of the bagels in this batch.  Stick the boiled bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking stone coated in cornmeal and glaze with a egg white/water mix.  Sprinkle with the topping of your choice.  Then they bake for 20-25 minutes at 500F (with ice cubes thrown into the oven for steam - very fun), then sit in an OFF oven for 5 minutes, then sit in the oven with the door open for 5 minutes, and then you can cool them on a rack.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.  I know, it sounds like a lot but it really isn't.  Unless of course it is after 11pm and you are totally exhausted.  This is what I get for procrastinating!  I hope I learn my lesson. 

Here is what my bagels looked like before going in the oven:

This is actually my second batch.  The first batch I did on my baking stone, and the second batch I prepped on a parchment-lined baking sheet so I could make a faster oven transition!  Clockwise from the top, I have a sesame/poppy seed, truffle sea salt, sesame seed, poppy seed, and another sesame seed.  I didn't want to get too crazy with toppings since the clever girl will be sharing them and I am not sure if she'd really go for an everything bagel (though I love those).  Maybe next time I'll get more creative with my toppings.
 
This is my first batch after coming out of the oven.  These baked for 25 minutes and I thought they probably could have come out sooner, so I did the second batch at 20 minutes.  From the top right, you see a poppy seed bagel, two sesame seed ones, another poppy seed one, and a kosher salt bagel.

I can't wait to eat them for breakfast!  Must continue this post in the morning before I pass out at my desk.....

Ok,, now it is Tuesday morning and I can try one of my bagels!  I went for a run first, so Mr. Clever Mom and the clever girl had breakfast before I returned.

They both enjoyed the bagels.  Two thumbs up from them.  Now it is my turn.  I sliced a sesame seed bagel, popped it into the toaster oven, and slathered it with some cream cheese (top photo).  The verdict:  Great!  I had one of the bagels from the second batch I made, which baked for 20 minutes instead of the recommended 25.  I think it could possibly bake even shorter as the outside was just a tad crispier than I prefer.  However, the flavor was good and the overall texture was right - with the crispy outside and chewy inside.

I will definitely try these again.  Maybe I'll make a batch and add some cheese....   Or add some cinnamon and raisins...  The options are endless.  I am thrilled that I have successfully made some bagels!!  How exciting!

To check out how some of the other bakers did with this recipe, go to the Tuesdays with Dorie link above and click on the "LYL:  Bagels" tab.  That will bring you to a listing of the blogs that tried this recipe!

18 comments:

  1. Glad the family enjoyed the bagels. Love the many toppings that you tried. The options are definitely endless.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful! I think I'll cut down baking time a minute or two next time as well. :) Your daughter is adorable!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think the times in the recipe are a bit on the long side, both for the boiling and the baking. Maybe it is different at other sea levels though... that could make a difference.

      Delete
  3. Nice job on the bagels, procrastination or not. I like your toppings! I had an issue with the cornmeal burning on my baking sheet, but looking at your pictures, I realize that I missed the part about the parchment paper. Oops. I'm a knitter too. I'm going to check out your project tab now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the cornmeal burned when I baked the batch on the stone... Not sure how to avoid that other than using a lot LESS cornmeal, using a scant dusting instead of a liberal one, maybe.
      Welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoy it! Thank you for visiting.

      Delete
  4. Great post. Yours look so nice and golden brown.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your bagels look marvelous! Thanks for all the kind words. I am so glad my hints helped you out:). I have another batch of bagels in the fridge now...I just had to try the cinnamon apple.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your advice about bagels was much appreciated! Thank you for letting me learn through your experience!

      Delete
  6. Such lovely looking bagels! I had done a test bagel (before overnight rest)on the baking stone (the rest I did on a cookie sheet)and I really liked the test bagel best. I'll do these again, but baking them all on the baking stone. Your daughter is so adorable in this photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I liked the baking stone best as well, though I only had one and didn't want to have to wait before preparing the rest of the bagels, since at that point it was around midnight! Next time I'll be more timely and then take the time to wait on the stone!

      Delete
  7. You were lucky Mr. Clever Mom and daughter left some behind :-) Oh yes, your little princess does love them! I can see it in her eyes :-)
    They look delicious. Great topping variation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I thought of hiding some so I could be sure to get a taste, but they were generous in leaving bagels behind, weren't they? Lucky for me!

      Delete
  8. Awww - love the picture of the mini bagel eater :-) I would guess the smile on her face is indicative of bagel success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She loved them. Asked for them for days after they were all gone. I guess I'll have to make more!

      Delete
  9. Tee hee! Love the cream cheese moustache!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. She certainly enjoys her food!

      Delete

Due to some bizarre spam comments I have recently received, I am moderating the comments for a while. I hope this spam craziness stops so this becomes unnecessary!