Saturday, November 7, 2009

BBA #3 - Bagels

I love bagels. Delicious, chewy bagels, frequently covered in melted cheese. Bagel sandwiches. Bagels for breakfast, bagels for lunch, bagels for dinner. Bagels! Needless to say, I was most excited to try this recipe.

Now, this wasn't a complete success (although I still have hopes for the other half of the batch waiting in the fridge) - but more on that later.

This recipe started off with a sponge - and what a sponge it was! I tell you, this was the most adorable sponge ever!

After letting it sit for an hour or two, I pulled it out to take a look and it talked to me. I could hear the bubbling from across the room. It was really cool, I was almost sad to mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Now, this recipe called for two ingredients which are rather difficult to find for the home cook. Fortunately, Stacey lives in a more... accessible... part of the country than I do, so she was able to obtain some malt powder. And, because she is fantastically awesome, she mailed some to me!

I spent the rest of the evening kneading and shaping before popping the bagels into the fridge to retard overnight. I think the shaping is where I made my first mistake. Not having a scale yet, I couldn't weigh my dough to make sure I had the right size, so I had to guess. I shaped 6 regular sized bagels and 12 mini-bagels, and endeavored to make them the right size.

Early this morning I found myself unable to get back to sleep. So, before the clock hit 6am, I was in the kitchen preheating the oven and boiling some water. I pulled my six regular bagels out and... wow. They were pretty large, some of them, and I think because they were so large, they'd sort of flattened and spread out, rather than maintaining a nice puffy rise. The mini bagels looked fine, so I decided to just finish off the large ones and see how they came out. So I popped them in the boiling water, two by two, then into the oven they went.

When they came out, they were nicely golden brown - but pretty flat. They smelled right though, so after impatiently waiting for the 15 minute cool-down to finish, I sliced one open and dove in.

Delicious. Chewy, and incredibly flavorful. I don't usually enjoy eating my bagels with nothing on them, but I'd scarfed down half a naked bagel before I realized what I was doing!

I'll definitely be making these again, and experimenting with flavoring the dough (my favorite ever bagel is a cheddar-jalapeno bagel, I must recreate it!). Hopefully I'll be able to get a puffier result next time!

Regarding toppings: Personally, I'm not a huge fan of crunchy bits of stuff on the outside of my bagels, but I did top three of these - if for no other reason than that they make a better picture that way. The mini-bagels will be topped as well, as they're intended for my coworkers come Monday.

1 comment:

  1. I got attached to my sponge too! I don't know why - this one just had lots of personality :)