Tuesday, April 17, 2012


We got a new oven right before Pesah!  It was really, really, really, really, really exciting.  (Did I mention I was excited about my oven?)  Our old oven was AWFUL.  It turned off regularly whenever programmed between 350 to 375 degrees... not helpful for a challah baker, right?  The temperatures were consistently uneven and the oven just didn't hold it's heat.

But our NEW oven came right before Pesah which meant... nooooo kashering!  What a relief that amongst preparing for a seder for 18 and deciding where to do my Ph.D. (!) I did not have to also kasher an oven.  Our new baby is pretty standard, nothing terribly fancy and really modest price-wise.  But it does have a continuous grate and FIVE (count 'em!) burners which is really handy.
So can I tell you how excited I was post Passover for our first bread baking!  Bagels!!!!

I can't take credit of this recipe.  It came straight off the back of a bag of King Arthur Sir Lancelot High Gluten Flour.  Here's a link to the recipe, and here are my adventures in making it! 
The dough is very tough. It almost feels too tough. But I just told myself to trust the recipe. Since I wasn't experimenting, it was my only option. This was one of the first times we actually used instant yeast as written... just mixed it in right at the beginning. I've been proofing my instant yeast for challah (basically just treating it like active dry). Anyone have any thoughts? 
bagels_01 The dough went around on the dough hook pretty well, and held together easily. I did take it off the dough hook perhaps a bit early. I had to knead a bit by hand, but the texture came out pretty smooth. bagels_03 bagels_04 bagels_05 
There are several methods out there for making bagels. Most include rolling out long strands and pinching them together. I've done this before, but my bagels almost ALWAYS come apart in the boiling process. I like King Arthur's method better... roll out "rolls" and let rest for a half hour. 
When the half hour is nearly up, I put the water with sugar and malt powder on to boil (love my power boil on the new stove!). Then I poked holes into each of the bagels (carefully!) and let rest another ten minutes. 
bagels_09 bagels_10
The boiling process is fun, but a bit scary. I also found it very interesting to see the variety of all the different boiling times. Some recipes say 30 seconds per side. Others 2 minutes each side. This recipe said 2 minutes on side one and 1 minute on side two. That's what I did. 
bagels_11 bagels_12 
We topped with cinnamon sugar (yum!), sesame seeds, and onion flakes. The onion flakes got a bit burnt, so I'm not sure if powder might have been a better option. We would definitely do poppy seeds in the future, but we were out this time. Also, sea salt or parmesan cheese are great options! 
It was hard to keep The Hazz from eating the entire plate. 
What did YOU do to celebrate the return of Hametz to your Post-Passover selves? 
bagels_15 bagels_17 bagels_16


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