Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bagel Baking at Home?!

Whole-wheat Everything Bagels

AJ recently sent me an interesting article he found in Slate magazine discussing the cost-effectiveness of making things at home versus buying them in the store. I am all about homemade items, which can be attributed to my spoiled childhood, where my mother would never think of baking brownies from a box. However, there are some things I would never dream of making on my own - cream cheese, yogurt, and bagels. All of these items are investigated in the article. All of these require more effort than driving to your local grocery store, but some are deemed worthwhile, while others failed to impress. The author's bagel making experience, however, was one of the best. Her claims about the great taste and the cost-effectiveness of the home-made bagel inspired me to try it out. Click here for the recipe.

Little balls of dough, just waiting for holes to be punched!

The recipe, from start to finish, ended up taking about 2.5 hours. The dough came together rather easily - water, sugar, yeast, flour. A little kneading and I was ready to let my big ball of dough rise. After an hour, I divided the dough into ten little balls. These are poked in the middle, creating holes. The bagels are then allowed to rise another ten minutes.

Not as pretty as the ones in the store, but not too bad for my first try!

Steamy water bath.

After the second rise, I placed the bagels in a sugary water bath. The water bath gelatinizes the starches, giving the bagels their chewy crust. I used a small pot, so I only put in two at a time. As you can see, my shaping of the dough wasn't completely uniform, so little cracks appeared as they boiled in the water. However, I don't think that affected the baking process. Once the bagels have dried on a towel, you can place them on a greased baking sheet.

Garlic, poppyseeds, onion, and sesame seeds top them off.

I followed the directions with the eggwash and added poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic and onion. Whole wheat everything bagels are my favorite. I would def recommend using a brush for the egg wash, my attempt at using a paper towel was flawed. I may have put a little too much egg on top of the bagels. Up until the baking process I would say everything went very well. I baked the bagels according to direction. I believe I misinterpreted the directions, because my bagels came out overcooked. The bagels were extremely brown. I should have turned them over halfway through, but I misread and thought I should turn them over after 25 minutes. Well it was too late at that point.

AJ and I still ate two bagels each, but I was disappointed with the overall results. Another concern was the consistency of the dough on the inside. It almost seemed like it could use a couple more minutes in the oven. I think I would reduce the temp of the oven to 325 and experiment with the baking time. Let me know if you try these out, or if you have a better bagel recipe!

1 comment:

Gastronomer said...

You're on a baking roll! As a lover of carbz, I commend your efforts. I hope your next batch turns out tastier.