Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bread Basket: Bagels & Giveaway!

*This Giveaway is Now Closed - Comment #19 was the final entry!*

I've been wanting to make bagels for quite some time but the task seemed a bit daunting and the unknown too challenging. But I finally mustered up the courage and dove right in and I wish I had done it sooner! It was so much fun and they turned out great!

I made a basic dough and then divided it into four piles so I could make different kinds of bagels. The recipe said it made 12 however, I made it into 16 bagels and while they weren't huge, they were the perfect size for us.

(Base recipe adapted from allrecipes.com)

3 1/2 - 4 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tb. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water (about 110 degrees F)
3 Tb. white sugar
1 Tb. salt
1 Tb. white sugar

Egg Wash (for after boiling)
1 egg, beaten
1 Tb. water

In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour and yeast. Mix water, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt together, and add to the dry ingredients. Beat with a mixer for half a minute at a low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl clean. Beat at a higher speed for 3 minutes. Then slowly add in enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). (I let my mixer do this part.)

Divide dough into desired number of flavors. Knead in any additional flavors to the dough (ideas will follow).

Cover, let rest for 15 minutes.

Divide into 16 portions (I made 4 bagels of each flavor), shape into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the center with your finger, and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape. Cover, let rise 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, start a gallon of water boiling. Put 1 tablespoon of sugar in it, mix it around a bit. Reduce to simmering.

When the bagels are ready, put 4 or 5 bagels into the water, and cook 7 minutes, turning once.

Drain them. Place on a greased baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and top with desired toppings.

Bake at 375 degrees F  for 30 to 35 minutes (if using both oven racks, rotate once). Remove from oven, eat hot or cold.

These were absolutely delicious toasted with some butter or cream cheese!

I made Cranberry-Cinnamon, Everything, Parmesan-Italian, and Chocolate Chip.

3 Tb. dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. orange zest (opt.)

Knead into the dough.

After boiling, combine 1 Tb. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon and sprinkle on top of bagels after the egg wash.

1 Tb. poppy seeds
1 Tb. dried minced onion
1 Tb. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. coarse salt

Combine. After boiling, apply egg wash and dip bagel into the seed mix.

1 tsp. Italian seasoning
5 Tb. Parmesan cheese, divided

Knead Italian seasoning and 3 Tb. Parmesan into the dough. After boiling, apply egg wash and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and egg wash again and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Chocolate Chip
3 - 4 Tb. mini chocolate chips

Knead chips into the dough. After boiling, egg wash and bake.

There so much fun to make and the sky is the limit on flavor combinations so be creative!

And now for a GIVEAWAY! In honor of the new year, we are giving away a 2010 Lang American Kitchen Calendar. It includes recipes and beautiful illustrations created from hand painted original artwork to inspire your creativity in the kitchen!

To Enter:
- Leave one comment telling us one culinary goal or wish for your kitchen this year.
- One entry per person.
- Make sure we have a way to contact you.
- This giveaway will stay open through Thursday, January 7.