Monday, May 10, 2010

Basic Boiled Bagel - the best way to re-enter the wonderful world of carbs!

So I have a friend. Well, actually I have a few friends, but this story is about one in particular. Her name is Steff. And she likes to drink rum. I like to call her SteffRum.

So SteffRum enjoys lighting a rocket up under my ass, pushing me into doing things that I wouldn’t normally do. Like donating blood. I hate needles, but 2010 is all about overcoming my fears. And SteffRum helps me with this. Ironically, she was the one who passed out after donating blood, not me, but that’s a whole other story and a whole other post.

Recently she convinced me to give up carbs. Seriously. You might now be contemplating leaving this blog forever, vowing never to return because how on earth can someone who writes about cakes actually give up carbs? And you raise a very valid point. We were allowed one free day a week. But needless to say, we didn't last as long as we first hoped.
Once it all came crashing down, throwing myself back into the world of carbs was fun, fun, fun! Something you may not know about me is I am a reformed vegetarian. Two years ago I was re-entering the world of meat, that was also fun, fun, fun. I still can’t step foot in a butcher, though.
Re-entering meat world, I started with spag and meatballs. Re-entering carb world, I started with bagels.

I love bagels. I love plain bagels. I love blueberry bagels. I love cream cheese on my bagels. I love smoked salmon on my bagel. I could go on and on. MummyB also loves bagels. Reckon that’s where I get it from.
For those who are interested, here is a tiny bit of history about the bagel. They originated in Poland in the 16th century. Any good American sit-com will emphasise the country’s love of bagels, which were first brought to the USA by immigrating Jews. Fascinating, huh.
In essence, bagels are boiled bread. ‘Sounds complex’ you might think. Well, you are wrong. The only time consuming part of the process is waiting for the dough to rise. And even then, you don’t have to do anything, you just leave it be. I think that’s the beauty of baking. With baking you don’t necessarily need to rush, you need to give it time. I couldn’t handle being in a commercial kitchen, people yelling at you to get an order cooked and served quick smart! No thanks, I’ll just stick to cakes.

Basic Boiled Bagels

3 ¼ Cups of bread flour
Pinch of salt
3 grams of yeast
270ml warm water
Tablespoon of sugar
Half tbs olive oil
Extra Olive oil and Sugar 
Bicarb soda
Egg wash

Mix flour, salt and yeast together in one bowl. Stir water, olive oil and sugar together until sugar dissolves.
Mix liquid mixture into flour mixture.

On a clean surface knead dough. Tip – do not over knead your dough. You will end up with tough, chewy bagels. Dough is ready for rising once it is silky smooth, and stretches. If your dough rips, keep kneading. You should also be able to make a thumb indent into the dough without it retracting.

Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and leave to rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen, divide into 10 smaller balls of dough, then shape into bagels.

Leave bagels to rise for another 15-20 minutes on some baking papaer.

While bagels are rising for the second time, boil water with a pinch of sugar and 1 ½  tablespoon of bicarb soda (I used a wok).

Place bagels two at a time in the water, and boil for a minute or so. They will almost double in size.

Place boiled bagels on a tray lined with baking paper. Egg wash bagels and then bake in a pre heated oven (180 fan forced) for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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