Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bagels: Daring Bakers June

June marks my first Daring Baker's Challenge and this month, Jenny of All Things Edible and Freya of Writing at the Kitchen Table chose Real Honest Jewish Purist's Bagels. I've made a few yeasted baked goods before so I was fairly comfortable with the idea of making bagels. I was ready to break out the KitchenAid for another bout of effortless kneading. That is until I found out we had to knead by hand. To be honest I don't really know how to properly knead by hand so it was definitely a little intimidating. I'm extremely reliant on my KitchenAid, perhaps too reliant. It was something I saved up for and bought many years ago as a teenager and is my most prized kitchen possession. But knowing how to knead by hand is definitely a good skill to know for a baker so I left the beloved mixer alone in the corner and rolled up my sleeves to attack the dough. I made half the recipe because I was afraid of having too many bagels. I'm a little glad I only made half the recipe because the dough was quite stiff and definitely gave me an upper body workout with all the kneading. In fact my right side was even sore the next day! The downside of only making half the recipe is that the bagels were oh soooo delicious and unfortunately making half the recipe meant only 8 bagels, which were quickly devoured in 1.5 days.

The recipe can be found here.

The rules this month:
- Toppings should be savory and nothing should be added to the bagel dough itself.
- Bagels can be filled with anything your heart desires. They tasted delicious plain so I didn't add anything.

Some recipe notes:
I used King Arthur's bread flour, instant yeast, clover honey in the dough, and sugar in the water. Next time, I will only use 1 packet of yeast (2 1/4 tsp) for 4 C of bread flour rather than the 2 Tbsp stated in the recipe.

I kneaded for about 15 minutes and left it alone to rise. Then I reread the recipe and it said the dough should be smooth and elastic. My dough wasn't smooth or elastic so I was worried I underkneaded. But I forged ahead with the rest of the recipe and luckily they turned out okay.

The dough rose extremely quickly. In order to avoid bready bagels, you want to really punch down the dough. I mean REALLY punch it down.

Making the bagels
I used the hole method to make the bagels (making a disc then poking a hole in the middle then stretching it out a little for an even bagel). I was afraid the "snake" method would uncoil in the water. Don't worry if the bagels aren't very pretty, mine were all uneven and lumpy.

Floaters or sinkers?
Although the recipe stated that the bagels should at first sink in the simmering water then float, like many other Daring Bakers, all of my bagels floated immediately as they hit the water.

In the end I made five different bagels: plain, sesame seed, poppy seed, Parmesan, and pizza (leftover tomato sauce and some mozzarella). After the initial 25 minutes in the oven, I noticed the pizza ones were getting a little dark so I move the sheet from the middle rack to the lower middle rack (I didn't flip the bagels over). I used pretoasted sesame seeds on the bagels and I was afraid they would burn in the oven but they turned out fine.

You can visit all my fellow Daring Bakers (links on the righthand sidebar) and see what toppings they put on their bagels.


Peabody said...

It must be something about the PNW air that made plump bagels. You and I have the most fat bagels. Well done.

Alpineberry Mary said...

Really pretty bagels. I love how cute and chubby yours turned out. Congratulations on your first DB challenge. =)

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Congrats on your first challenge. My these really are fat bagels. Nice one!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Dreamy bagels Amy. Beautiful.
Congratulations on the challenge!
Now let's see what's for July!

breadchick said...

Amy, congratulations on your first challenge. Nice job with your bagels!! Kneading is a nice upper body workout and good for stress relief too!

Karen Baking Soda said...

Fat, smooth and shiny bagels! Well done.
I agree on the kneading stress relief...I once had 6 very hyped up 10-yr olds in my kitchen, they all went silent during kneading dough. Should we let teachers know?

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Beautiful bagels! I love that they are puffy.

Cheryl said...

MMMM Pizza bagels, yum!!

Another set of bagels that are smooth and big and plump, well done.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

They look great and the pizza topping is my favourite. Our first challenge done we can breathe a sigh of relief!

Kelly-Jane said...

Well done with your first challenge, they turned out great :)

Helene said...

Great job my friend! That pizza bagel is calling my name! They look so toasty and plump!

Anonymous said...

How can there be too many bagels? You should have made more and send some to me :p~~~

Anne said...

your bagels are so pretty. In fact I find them so cute since they are so plump :) you did well in your first challenge :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first DB post! Love those bagels1

Jenny said...

Well done! Glad you enjoyed (I hope!) the challenge and are ready for the next!

Lis said...

Amy! I'm positively drooling over the pizza bagel! OMG they look so good! =)

Glad you had a good experience this month and I look forward to seeing next month's challenge!

Fabulous job!

Glenna said...

So big and round and beautiful!~

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amy, I halved the recipe, too - it was great because I felt like having seconds and thirds... :)

Your bagels are just beautiful! So round and look deliciously tender... I wish I could grab on through the computer screen. :)

Amy said...

Maybe it's the humidity? :D I loved your chubby bagels too and the bagel butt crack. :D

Aw thank you so much!

Thanks! Whew, it feels good to have finished the first challenge.

Thank you! Ooh I can't wait to find out what's in store for July!

Thank you! I think I should knead by hand some more and work those muscles. :D

Quiet children and fresh baked bread? It sounds like win-win for teachers! Maybe PE should be replaced with breadmaking!


The pizza bagel was my favorite. :D

Definitely, I can't wait to see what's in store for July!

Thanks! It was a lot of fun!

Thanks so much. The pizza bagels were the first to be eaten. It's a shame I only made 2.

Hehe that's true!

Aw thanks. I'm so glad this challenge went well.

Thank you!

I had sooo much fun! This recipe and challenge was great! And my bf and his family really enjoyed the bagels. :D

Thank you! *hugs* I'm excited too!

Thank you!

Thank you! You're too sweet. *hugs* :) I think I ate 2 bagels when they first came out of the oven. I would have eaten more but I had to save room for dinner. :D

Jerry said...

Looks so fabulous! And like bagels, not like thin frisbees!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Your bagels look very pretty and appetizing! They are nice and fat...

Thistlemoon said...

That pizza on ein the back is looking so scrumptious to me right now!

Unknown said...

Fat bagels with no cellulite - no fair!! Great first challenge and I'll have the pizza bagel to go please.

Amy said...

Thanks! Fat or thin, I would eat them all.

AW thank you so much.

I wish I had more of those pizza bagels too. They were really good. :D

Thanks! It's good to get that first challenge out of the way. :D

Anonymous said...

These bagels look fantastic! I love my KitchenAid too, but sometimes I go back to kneading by hand just to get my fingers in the dough. You can't beat that, plus the "kneading workout" justifies an extra slice of bread, or bagel, if you ask me. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

Anonymous said...

Look at those bagels!
You did great for your first challenge. Nice job!

Amy said...

You make an excellent point and I would have to agree with you, the kneading workout totally justifies another slice of bread or bagel. ;D

Thank you! :)


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