A lot has happened since my last post, one thing being my baby shower taking place. Thank you to my sister-in-law for hosting a beautiful shower, it was really nice seeing family and friends! Check out some of the eats – everything was delicious!
And my personal favorite, the cupcake tower! Which held amazing chocolate and strawberry cupcakes.
Now all I need is the baby – still waiting but evidently he should be making his debut any day now! Even though I haven’t been posting, I have been cooking so hopefully I can get caught up soon!
Bernie once told me eventually I am going to just come home from the grocery with just milk and flour. While I am not really close to that yet, I am definitely broadening my horizons and expanding my cooking skills. Bagels were on my “list of things to try.” I started with cinnamon raisin since that is Bernie’s favorite. These are a little labor intensive…like any yeast bread, but once you get going and have the dough done, it is really not so bad. Just a forewarning – this can be a 2-day process. The original poster made her bagels in one day though – which is what I did too, and they turned out just fine. Check out the original post from Smitten Kitchen for pictures that look a whole heck of a lot better than mine – and that cover the whole process.
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels, from Smitten Kitchen
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2 1/2 cups water, room temperature
1 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons malt powder or 1 tablespoon dark or light malt syrup, honey, or brown sugar
2 cups loosely packed raisins, rinsed with warm water
1 tablespoon baking soda
Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
1. Day one:
For the sponge: stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.
2. To make the dough – in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Next, add 3 cups of flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt and brown sugar. Stir (or mix on low-speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough. In the last two minutes of mixing, stir in the raisins.
3. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine). The dough should be firm, stiffer than French bread dough, but still pliable and smooth. Everything should be well combined and hydrated. If the dough seems too dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour to achieve the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.
4. Immediately divide the dough into 12 pieces for super sized bagels, 16 regular-sized bagels (which is what I did), or 24 mini bagels. Form pieces into rolls.
5. Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
6. Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with nonstick spray. Poke a hole in a ball of bagel dough and gently rotate your thumb around the inside of the hole to widen it to approximately 2 1/2 inches in diameter for a supersized bagel, two inches for a large one or just slightly more than one inch for a miniature. Try to make the dough as evenly stretched as possible.
7. Place each of the shaped pieces two inches apart on the pans. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and slip each pan into a food-grade plastic bag, or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
8. Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room-temperature water. The bagels are ready when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it.
**If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan and place in refrigerator. If you want to finish the bagels same day, leave in fridge for about 3-4 hours. Or, leave them in overnight – up to 2 days.
** If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan (at room temperature), checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.
9. When ready to bake the bagels (several hours later or next day), preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better), and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.
10. Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute, flip them over and boil for another minute. If you like very chewy bagels, you can extend the boiling to 2 minutes per side. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you decide to replace the paper, be sure to spray the new paper lightly with spray oil to prevent the bagels from sticking to the surface.)
11. When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on two middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately five minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are baking only one pan, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450°F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. You may bake them darker if you prefer.
12. Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.
Yields: 16 “regular” sized bagels
Nutrition per bagel: 299 calories, 0.7g fat, 0.1g saturated fats, 0mg cholesterol, 640 mg sodium, 66.9g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 16.9g sugar, 6.9g protein