Today´s recipe for the Tuesdays with Julia group are Bagels.
Bagels are by no means common around here – they are just starting to make an occasional appearance at bakeries and some well-known American bagels chains have opened a few bagel shops. But to say that they are easy to find would be an exaggeration.
When I first read that we were baking Bagels for the Tuesdays with Dorie Group, I felt a bit intimidated because although I have tasted the famous New York and Montréal Bagels before, I certainly never baked any. I remembered tasting bagels with “different toppings” such as sesame, poppy or caraway seeds, plain or flavored with cinnamon and raisins (which I particularly enjoyed) and the Bagels that I remember with “real affection” were those slathered with really good cream cheese, thinly sliced tomatoes and lox! So in order to be able to enjoy those Bagels, I decided that despite my trepidations, I should give the recipe a try. And I am quite happy that I did.
The recipe which was contributed by Lauren Groveman looks complicated and long but, in fact, it is very simple and the different steps can be followed easily. Bagels are made with a yeast dough and high-gluten flour (which I found at an Italian store), the rest of the ingredients are quickly put together, water, sugar shortening (I used unsalted butter with no apparent ill effect) and salt. After some good kneading and a first rise, the dough gets deflated and chilled for a few hours in the refrigerator.
After the second rise came the fun part, shaping the Bagels. Very meditative. The Bagels need to be boiled for a good minute an each side in water, sugar and soda then transferred to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with cornmeal. Then they get brushed with egg whites and water, topped with seeds (I chose a mixture of sesame, poppy and sunflower seeds) and baked for about twenty to twenty five minutes. Before baking, you will have to toss some ice water and cubes onto the oven floor to create some serious steam.
These Bagels were so wonderful, they emerged from the oven so much nicer looking than I had imagined they would look like and they were delicious. We ate them for dinner and the whole family was crazy about them – this recipe is a keeper, for sure! While we were shopping for vegetables yesterday, I had picked up some “Smoked Sausage Spread” (“Mettwurst”) in a Weck jar - this is a local specialty that certainly has a rustic appeal and it was delicious with the Bagels. As you may have noticed from a few of my previous blog posts, we do love those “Weck” jars around here not only for jams and jellies but also for pickles, sausages, pesto but also for baking cakes and I always buy them whenever I see them and then my collection just keeps on growing.
To see all the other Bagels by the very talented and enthusiastic members of the Tuesday with Dorie group, please do click here. The recipe can be found at Heather´s delightful blog Heathers Bytes - thank you so much for hosting, Heather!