I can’t resist sneaking downstairs a little ahead of time and am greeted by the delicious smell of freshly baking bread in the oven. Now that still doesn’t mean that they’re good, but I have high hopes and when I peek into the oven my heart makes a happy jump. Yes!! They look beautiful, brown and perfect! Well maybe a tiny bit oversized but still if that is the worst that can happen who really cares? You know how I am around bread and yeast and it’s not as if I haven’t had any help along the way. Most recently Esmee gave me a look into her kitchen and showed me that baking bread is really not as scary as I thought it was. I think – maybe – that last day put me over the edge. The edge of finally getting into the breadbaking mojo.
Earlier this week I made a sweet focaccia but since I sort of winged the recipe, creating my own version, it needs some work. It was good, but far too dense. I’ll be reworking the recipe later when I have other flour as the one I used had yeast already incorporated and well, quite frankly; it didn’t work. We still ate all the bread and we enjoyed it. (well, ok truth be told; I enjoyed it and Tom suffered in silence..) I made this sweet focaccia for the new challenge that Lisa from Parsley Sage and Sweet, Lora of Cake Duchess and Jamie from Life’ a feast came up with called Twelve Loaves. Given my less then perfect history with bread this was THE perfect opportunity to get my bread baking mojo and see here, one week into the challenge and I baked a delicious batch of bagels. Now who would have thought…
Bagels are originally Jewish and have been made since the 17th century! Ultimately I think it is New York that made the bagels famous.
See those pics above? You can almost see that the dough is too dense already.
Ok on to my bagels. I was thinking of what to bake after the focaccia misfortune and as luck would have it I bought a new cookbook called One More Sliceby Leila Lindholm. It’s full of delicious baking recipes and including quite a few bread recipes too. Gorgeous photography as well, so I had been going through the book at night a few times when I stumbled upon the recipe for bagels. I know that Esmee told me about bagels and that they needed to be cooked prior to baking. Now cooking bread; I had never heard of it before but it did intrigue me. Plus I really like bagels.
Decision made. I was going to make fruity bagels for the twelve loaves challenge. As anyone who bakes bread on a regular basis can tell you, it all comes down to having good ingredients. Well that’s not really different from cooking really, so I bought some nice flours online from De Zuidmolen. And they arrived just in time for me to start making my lovely bagels. It was fairly easy really. The dough is not too sticky so easy to handle and the only thing I will have to get better at for next time is the size of the bagels. Funny enough the ‘little’ ones I made, thinking they would be tiny turned out to be the perfect size and the ‘normal’ ones were really big. What I didn’t know was that they puffed up quite considerably when I put them in the boiling water. O well, I’m sure Tom wouldn’t mind getting a rather oversized bagel to eat. In fact, I am pretty sure he will like these better then the sweet focaccia (he’s not into sweet bread really)
I might be making the sweet bagels next time with another fruit as the blueberries were fairly large compared to the bagels so it was hard incorporating them properly without bursting them straight away and then I ended up with not enough blueberries in the dough. I also think adding a little more sweetness into them for next time will make them even better. I had mine with creamcheese, bananas and cinnamon and they were delicious but a little more sweetness would make them perfect.
See above that there is not enough fruit in there? Now on to the recipe. Now this is the basic recipe with the addition of the blueberry version of a bagel, but it is easy to adept it to your own taste. I made sesame, poppyseed and rosemary bagels at the same time. just divided the dough and added different ingredients into them prior to rising.
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Cook Time: 25 min
Total Time: 2 hours and 25 mins
This recipe makes enough for 12 fairly large bagels or 15 smaller ones
- 25 gr fresh yeast or 7 gr instant yeast
- 500 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp liquid honey
- 750-850 gr all purpose flour (good quality flour)
- eggwhite to put on top of the bagels
- Crumble the yeast (if using fresh) and dissolve this into the water. Add the salt and the honey.
- Add the flour in small amounts at the time and knead for about 5 minutes in a foodprocessor until smooth and firm.
- Cover the bowl with a clean teatowel and leave to rise for about 50 minutes until the volume has doubled.
- Put the dough onto a flour covered surface and knead a little. Divide into 12 portions
- Make each portion into a circle and make a hole in the middle with your fingers. Twist the bagel around your finger and turn (swinging your bagel around the hole in the middle) to smooth out the form.
- Put the bagels on a baking tray covered with baking paper, cover with a clean teatowel and leave to rise for another 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- Cook the bagels, a few at the time, for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Put the bagels on a teatowel to drain and then transfer them back onto the baking tray with baking paper.
- Brush with the eggwhite and bake the bagels in the middle of the preheated oven for about 25 minutes
To make the blueberry bagels you need about 100 gr of blueberries. Add the blueberries to the dough as soon as you mixed it all before starting the first rise.
Follow the process the same way.
Recipe by Leila Lindholm
These blueberry bagels are made for the Twelve Loaves Challenge ; Baking from Scratch!