Monday, May 24, 2010

BBA: Bagels

The third bread of the BBA Challenge is bagels. That just seems ridiculous doesn't it. I'm a new bread baker and an even newer yeast bread baker and I'm making bagels!

Peter Reinhart begins the chapter with a commentary on the history of the bagel and a discussion on the debate of the denser, thick-crusted "water bagel" versus the lighter softer bagels. I was thrilled we were making the dense bagels, which I consider to be the true bagels.

Was I intimidated by the bagel? Oh yes. But, I persevered. First, I made the sponge.
Making and kneading the dough was definitely a challenge. Reinhart: "If the dough seems too dry or rips, add a few drops of water.... If the dough seems tacky or sticky, add more flour..." What if my dough seems dry and rips but is also on the tacky side? I'm still no closer to getting that windowpane. However, this was the first time I felt more confident in my kneading and overall bread dough handling. As I added flour and then water I started to feel like I was getting a sense of the dough. This is all still very new to me though and oh how I wish Mr. Reinhart could pop by my kitchen for a tutorial. I know part of what he'd say- it just takes lots of practice with lots of dough to get the feel of it.
I finally got the dough to the consistency I was happy with and rolled my balls.
Bagel snakes anyone? As my bagels were resting and I was putting the baby down for a nap, the two year old decided to make "nasks" (snakes) with a couple of  my bagel balls.

The bagels rested until they were able to float in water and and then into the fridge they went for overnight. I made 10 large bagels and 4 small bagels (formerly snakes). I thought Charlotte might enjoy a Charlotte sized bagel.
And because I am in the running for best wife ever, I got up extra early the next morning- yes, even before the kids were up- to finish the bagels so we could have fresh from the oven bagels for breakfast.

I had no idea bagels were poached!
I topped them with sesame seeds, poppy seed, and kosher salt and served them with chive and onion cream cheese.
Delicious! Charlotte proclaimed with a big smile after her first bite, "I like bagels!"
I'm still astounded I made my own bagels. They were fantastic and I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow morning and the next day.

3 comments:

  1. Jealous, jealous. They look wonderful. My favorite bread.

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  2. *clapping* Awesome job, Renee! These are definitely our family's most-made recipe from the BBA . . . Nothing like getting up in the morning to fresh-from-the-oven bagels!

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  3. Wow, those look absolutely perfectly wonderful...you got such great height on them, mine were a little flat. Since then I have made them numerous times (my swimmer eats bagels for breakfast before swim meets always) and I still don't get that height you got. But they taste marvelous. Wonderful job. I think you probably win your perfect wife award daily!

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