Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm in love

It's no secret that I have an ongoing love affair with bagels.   I can think of no more wonderful breakfast than a warm, fresh from the oven bagel.  Ever since my favorite bagel shop in Athens closed last year, I have been going through some serious bagel withdrawal.  Don't get me wrong, I haven't boycotted my favorite carbohydrate breakfast altogether but my experiences with bagels have been less than satisfying lately.  I have made attempts at homemade bagels in the past but they turned out to be somewhat disappointing.  My homemade bagels were tasteless and tough.  Last weekend, I was browsing through my new issue of Cooking Light and I found a recipe for "Real Bagels."  The recipe promised a "chewy revelation."  My interest was peaked so I decided to give them a try.  I figured that I had nothing to lose.

Real Bagels (recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Nov. 2011)
2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
6 cups flour
2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 cups water
3/4 cup sugar

Combine water and yeast in mixer bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.  

Add 5 c. flour and salt to yeast.  Knead 2 minutes.  Add remaining flour and knead 8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.  

Divide dough into 12 equal portions.  Shape each portion into a ball.  

Make hole in the center of each ball using a finger and stretch to 1.5” in diameter.  Place bagels on a silpat lined baking sheet.  

Spray bagels lightly with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 10 minutes.  

Combine water and sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Gently lower 3 bagels at a time into water and cook 30 seconds.  

Transfer to a greased wire rack.  Repeat with remaining bagels.  

Divide bagels between 2 baking sheets and bake 14 minutes, at 450, rotating halfway through cooking. 

The bagels came out of the oven golden brown even though my photograph didn't really show their color well.  Since I was serving the bagels for our usual Sunday night "breakfast for dinner" meal, I decided to make them into bagel sandwiches.  

A sunny side up egg, a slice of colby jack cheese, a slice of rosemary ham and a warm bagel = sandwich perfection.  We ate our bagels sandwiches while they were still warm from the oven and - oh my goodness - they were good.  I concur with Cooking Light that these bagels were  a "chewy revelation."  My love for bagels is rekindled and now that I have a great recipe to make them in my own kitchen I am ready to try new bagel variations.  I can definitely some see whole wheat and cinnamon bagels in my future. 

Bon Appetit!

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