Monday, November 19, 2007

Bagels, Anyone?

My first try with making bagels was a delicious success! The recipe I used came from my old cookbook: Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, dated 1981. Mom gave it to me when I was just a kid and starting to show an interest in cooking without her help. It is looking tattered now, and favorite recipes are marked with a smiley face and recipes I've tried that I didn't like get the frown face with a tongue sticking out. It's been a good cookbook to me over the years, and I have bought or received others, but this one remains my go-to book.

I never had a bagel until I went away to the deaf school when I was 13. In the cafeteria, they had a little bread corner with a conveyor toaster and I'd see these funny looking, donut shaped rolls. I didn't know what they were, so like any normal kid, I didn't bother with them and stuck to the plain white bread. One of my roommates would toast a bagel for breakfast everyday and when dinner was kind of gross, the bagel was her fall-back meal. She'd slather this white stuff all over it and eat it with gusto! I didn't like mayo at the time, and I thought the white stuff was a cousin of the mayo. My curiosity got the best of me and I toasted my first bagel and used butter and jam. Yummy! I learned the "white stuff" was called cream cheese and I ventured in trying just a thin layer of cream cheese on my buttered bagel. Hm, not bad. I have since progressed to toasted flavored bagels with a thick layer of cream cheese, no butter.

The bagels I made are very similar to the Lender's frozen bagels. Same size and texture. I didn't make the holes big enough so when you let the dough rise, it choked out the holes. Next time I'll know to make the holes bigger. Hubby is telling me to make more and freeze them for later. I calculated the cost of making them VS buying them and it comes out about the same, only by making them, I know exactly what is going into my bagels. I made 12 and the next time, I'll probably double it and make 24, some for now, some to freeze.

Have you tried anything new in the kitchen lately?

**Here's the Bagel Recipe if you want to try making your own...

4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached flour)
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
3 tbsps sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

In a mixer bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Combine warm water, the 3 tbsps sugar and salt. Pout over flour mixture. Beat at low speed of electric mixer 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Cut into 12 portions; shape each into a smooth ball. Punch a hole into the center of each and pull gently to make a 2 inch hole. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise 20 minutes. Broil 5 inches from heat 3 to 4 minutes, turning once (tops should not brown). Heat 1 gallon of water and the 1 tbsp of sugar to boiling; reduce heat. Cook 4 or 5 bagels at a time for 7 minutes, turning once; drain. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 375 oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 12.

*You can add different herbs to make a herbed bagel by adding 2 tsps dried marjoram; or 1 tsp dried dillweed; or 1 tsp dried tarragon; or 1/2 tsp garlic powder to the flour/yeast mixture.

*You can make onion bagels by cooking 1/2 cup finely chopped onion in 3 tbsps of butter until tender, but not brown. Brush onion mixture over tops of bagels after first 15 minutes of baking.

*Poppy seed or Sesame seed bagels by brushing tops of bagels before baking with beaten egg and then sprinkling with poppy seed or toasted sesame seed.


ASL Blog said...

Yum!! Please post the recipe for us who may want to learn how to make them and so on. I love homemade food, made from stratch! Thanks in advance for your consideration of putting up recipes. :0)

jenny said...

Marin-- Welcome! Sure! I'll post it on the bottom of the bagel post. Hope you like 'em! :o)

Molly said...

Bagels are a staple around here. My son and I love whole wheat bagels, toasted, with cream cheese and dill (his idea). I might have to try making them from scratch now.

DJ Kirkby said...

These look great. My faves are toasted sesame seed with cream cheese and smoked salmon...

LaRonda said...

Mountain Mama is the new Deaf Martha Stewart! I'm hugely envious of your homemaking talent. You are a domestic goddess!

~ LaRonda

Unknown said...

I love bagels and cream cheese but I don't know if I am ready to try my hand at making them! Maybe if my dressing comes out okay on Thanksgiving I'll feel a little better about my cooking skills.

lady macleod said...

Those DO look yummy! well done. Have I tried anything new in the kitchen lately? Yes, I bought a lovely new lace cover for the microwave. That counts right?