Wow! So that's it, 2012 is over. It was interesting to hear how many people thought that last year was incredibly challenging. At the same time I hear many people who are really excited about this coming year. I know I am. I think there are big things in store. I'm finally coming to the realization that I don't have to do the same thing that I have done for years. I don't have to stay on the same path, and there is no reason I can,t take the leap and do something totally unexpected. I finally feel like I can start working on that now that the holidays are behind me. Losing your job right before the holidays is hard because the whole world feels like it is in limbo, nobody is doing anything until "after the holidays". Although I really did enjoy the holidays this year, I have to admit that I am looking forward to getting on with things.
I made homemade bagels this weekend. I expected it to be a project, something that I would only do on special occasions in the future. It was really amazing how easy they were, there really isn't much "active" time involved at all. The thing is that they are so much better than any bagel I have ever eaten in my life. I was really shocked how good they were compared to bakery bagels, and now it is hard to even call those things you buy in a bag in the grocery store bagels at all! The only problem is that the recipe only makes 8 bagels that lasted two days in our house. I'm not sure I'll be making bagels every other day, but I can see making them once a week as a treat. If you do decide to make them, be warned...you will be ruined for store bought bagels forever!
Homemade Everything Bagels
adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 cups Unbleached Bread Flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup
1 1/2 cups water, lukewarm
Glaze and Everything Bagel Topping
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried onions
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg white
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Set on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be quite stiff. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and set it aside to rise till noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Mix together all of the everything bagel topping ingredients, except for the egg white and set aside.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it's about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4 inches across). The twirling is fun, but be careful not to launch your bagel across your kitchen! Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
Just before baking, with a glaze made of 1 egg white beaten till frothy with 1 tablespoon of water; glaze each bagel, and sprinkle heavily with everything bagel topping. You can eliminate this step if you prefer plain bagels, or use another topping of your choice if you are not a fan of everything bagels.
Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're as deep brown as you like. Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 8 bagels.