Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'M KVELLING OVER HERE: REAL HONEST JEWISH PURIST'S BAGELS

Ok, so normally I start off my monthly Daring Bakers post by telling you how the challenge scared me and I wasn't going to take part until some one talked me into it. Well, not this month, honey!

This month we were challenged by Quiella of All Things Edible and Freya of Writing At The Kitchen Table to make bagels. Jewish bagels. I know next to nothing about bagels, other than I like them, but the notes in the recipe indicate that these are Jewish bagels because they conform to Kosher laws, meaning they have no eggs, milk, or oil. The only ingredients are flour, yeast, salt, sugar or honey and water.

I've never had much luck using yeast before, but being a member of the Daring Bakers means to be daring and adventurous. Goonies never say die!

Ahem. Anyway! As I was saying, I've never had much luck with yeast and pretty much gave up trying to make bread years ago. But this sounded like so much fun, with the kneading and the boiling and the customizing of toppings.

This is a thrilling picture of my yeast proofing.

I have never actually seen yeast do this before - you could see it moving around in there! Sort of freaky. And below here I am adding in my flour. I should mention that I had to use whole wheat bread flour as the grocery store only had whole wheat or multigrain bread flour, they were out of white. At first I was disappointed, but I only had so much time that day and couldn't go to another store. In the end I was glad I'd used whole wheat though. The flavor and color were terrific. I used 7 1/2 of the 6-8 cups in the recipe. I wasn't completely sure my dough was "a nice stiff dough...quite elastic, but heavy and stiffer than a normal bread dough" but it seemed ok. Now came the first hand-wringing moment...the rising. Was the yeast any good? Would the dough rise, and double in volume?
Yes, yes it would. Here it is after only 20 minutes!

Here's my formed bagels. I went with the ball method of forming them - I cut the dough into 15 pieces, then gently squished the dough into a ball and poked my fingers thru the middle to make the centre. The bagels sat and rose some more while I got my water ready. Then I boiled them.

All my bagels were floaters, no sinkers here. Next time I make these (oh yes, there will BE a next time) I will make them smaller. Maybe 20 to start and see how that goes. They were so big I could only boil 2 at a time. After the boiling was the time to decide how or if you would top your bagels. I left some plain, topped some with dried minced onion and some with fresh minced garlic. I can't even describe how great the house smelled. FYI to anyone who makes these - go heavy on the cornmeal on your baking pan. One of the bagels stuck to that pan like it had been cemented there. There they are - aren't they gorgeous! I can't believe I made these all by myself. They are delicious, especially with a schmear of cream cheese. Scott packed some up for freezing, although I don't know why he bothered, we are going thru them like wildfire.

So there's my Jewish bagel saga! Thanks for reading. If any one out there would like to give these a try, and you should, go here for the recipe. All the members of the Daring Bakers are posting about their bagels today, June 27. Please check them out; I have a list of everyone in my side bar.

I am going to close this post out on a bit of a sappy note. This is my third challenge with the Daring Bakers. I am astonished at the amount of confidence I have gained in the kitchen in that time. I am doing things I never would have imagined I could do. I am learning techniques I've always wanted to try. I am more willing to take chances and try new things that in the past I would never have dared. I am kicking ass and taking names! I would like to thank Mary for nominating me as a member of the DB's. I thank Lis and Ivonne for saying yes, and of course for coming up with the whole Daring Bakers thing in the first place. I would like to thank Brilynn for challenging us with the Crepe Cake. Thank you to Helen for the Gateau Saint Honore. And thanks to Quiella and Freya for the bagels. You guys and the rest of the group are a great bunch of people and I am so happy to be part of this group. Until next time!

35 comments:

breadchick said...

OH SARA, You made me cry!!! I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have you as a fellow Daring Baker and great friend. Your bagels are perfect and I'm so glad you got your yeast to proof!! Now you are all set for...baguettes ;-)

Lea said...

That is so cool! I would never thought to make my own bagels! They look like wonderfully happy little bagels! =)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm so glad you've enjoyed the challenges, Sara, I have too!

Your bagels are wonderful!

Baking Soda said...

Sara, you've created your extra challenge and used all whole wheat? Wow! And the wrapped bagels look like they are a present from a high-end bakery. Well done

Lis said...

OMG I'm actually teary. At work. After reading about bagels.

Wasn't expecting the ending.. awww I can so relate to how you feel about learning so much and over coming fears and the support - ohhhh the support! But there's another reason too.. Getting to know you over the past few months has been AN HONOR! And that's the truth =) xoxo

**crickets**

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Ahem.. bagels.. right? That's what the challenge was this month? Okay.. *sniff* Your bagels are quite gorgeous - love the the color the whole wheat flour gave them! And they are so round and puffy! Your bagels kicked my bagels' flat asses!! hehee

xoxo

Kalyn said...

Oh I am so impressed with the bagels. And whole wheat, hooray! I'm saving your recipe but I'll tell you right now, I might not be daring enough to actually make bagels. (I'm so not a baker!)

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Those really look good. I've always wanted to make bagels but I would want to bring them to work, fresh, and I don't want to get up at 2am to make them.

Ilva said...

The wholewheat is a brilliant idea! Thanks! and they look perfect!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Sara isn't it really a surprise the support and the confidence that comes out of this group!
Congratulations - your bagels are wonderous!! So love the whole wheat!!!

gilly said...

Way to go, Sara! Your bagels are perfect, and it sounds like they were a great hit at your household!

I agree, the DBs are such a supportive and inspiring group! It's wonderful to hear how the challenges have helped your confidence! Congrats on another amazing challenge!

kickpleat said...

those look great! i love real montreal style bagels but am not a fan of the fluffy bread-like bagels from the store. what are these the chewy, authentic type?

Meeta said...

Gorgeous post Sara and great post. I'm with you on the fact that the entire group is so supportive and that builds up the confidence so much. Yaaay to a great challenge Sara.

Veron said...

Oh sara, you are so right they are gorgeous! And like you I also have learned so much month after month of being a Daring Baker!

Laura said...

Yay Daring Bakers. And Yay yummy bagels!

Jerry said...

We love having you!

Annie said...

Those look great. And whole wheat are my favorite. Wish I could try one!

Mary said...

The DB experience has been so much fun for me too. It's amazing how we've learned so much in such a short period of time.

Quellia said...

I'm so glad you liked the challenge and are happy to be a DB'er!
Nice looking bagels, btw!

Helen said...

Nice bagels there my friend and I can only imagine how tasty with that whole wheat flour. You made me all soft inside with that last paragraph. It's a pleasure to have you among us.

Elle said...

I can see that you made some magnificent bagels. Well said about the challenges. I feel the same way. Even the dreaded crepe cake was a learning experience :)

Ivonne said...

Well done, Sara! I also tried to freeze some but they never quite made it to my freezer ...

Great bagels!

Peabody said...

Getting all sappy at the end there :)
Well done with your bagels.

KJ said...

Great job on the bagels. I love being a daring baker too.

Cheryl said...

First of all anyone using a Goonies reference is cool in my book. One of my favorite movies!! Great bagels, cool pictures. Love the last picture, they look like they are ready to be sold in the stores.

Brilynn said...

Good to hear they worked out with the whole wheat bread flour.
Each Daring Baker challenge has been great, glad to have you along for the ride!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I really loved your post! I think it's my favourite. This was my first DB challenge and it is really wonderful to be part of such a great group of people and to be challenged out of my comfort zone.

tigerfish said...

That pack of bagels look just suitable for delivery to California.

Glenna said...

They look fantastic! And very professional. Love the way Scott packed them up in the bag. Great color.

Randi said...

Dont know if you know this, but I'm jewish and I can't find a decent bagel in small town ontario. I wish I would have joined in this with you guys. I've wanted to make the bagels from BBA for ages now. Btw, great pic on the foodtv site!!

Kelly-Jane said...

They look great, really artisan :) Well done. I know what you mean about the yeast proofing, it was an amazing sight!

Deborah Dowd said...

I love your step by step photo for those of us not-so-daring bakers! Pass the lox, and I'm there!

marye said...

Great job! They look fabulous! And just think..if society as we know it crumbles you will still be able to have bagels!

Amy said...

We went through our bagels really quickly too. It's a shame I only made half a recipe. Your bagels look wonderful!

Emmy said...

Those bagels look awesome. Great job!!!!

Heather said...

I was just wondering if I would make these with the whole wheat flour.
Nice post and pictures.