Monday, September 22, 2008

New Love: Homemade Bagels

The other day Amy posted about how she would like to learn how to make bread. I've been thinking the same thing, but it's one of those things that I have a hard time getting motivated to do. Even though Chris and I, being the newly initiated married couple that we are, have a new Kitchen Aid mixer that's just aching to be used for just such a project.

Luckily for me, my friends Annetta and Louisa invited me this evening for an evening of making bagels. I had no idea that bagels were so easy to make. Apparently this wasn't a complete secret, since when I told Colin I was going he said, "oh yeah, bagels are easy to make." Oh, well nobody told me...

Annetta had made her own bagels before, and had been promising to enlighten Louisa and I for what feels like months now, and tonight we finally did it. I don't have the recipe to post here, but Annetta promised to email it to me tomorrow afternoon, so I'll post it then for anyone who would like to try this. It's easy, but you have to wait twenty minutes in between each step, so it's not exactly fast.

First we made the dough, which is a really simple bread dough. I think pretty much just instant yeast, flour, oil and water. Once the dough has been kneaded for a while, you break it into equal sized little balls (about the size of a tennis ball, or a little bit smaller). These have to rise. Yep, twenty minutes.

Once you've waited the twenty minutes, already a little impatient if you're like me, you roll these into what the recipe calls "snakes" and attach the ends with a little water by wrapping one end sort of around the other.

You guessed it, twenty minutes... wait. Oh... I meant rise. Next, into a pot of boiling water for maybe 30 seconds.

From the pot, into a greased baking dish, and straight into the hot oven for the last step. How long to bake? Well, I don't actually remember, but if were going to venture a guess, I'd say, oh, twenty minutes.

The final product was, in my opinion (being a person who has sampled many a bagel) quite lovely.

We made our own veggie cream cheese, inspired by one of my favorite items at the Epic Cafe, but with our own twist. We added green onions, roasted red bells peppers, and cucumbers. We put this delicious cream cheese on the warm bagels, and then layered them with slices of avocado for a delightful dinner.

Oh, did I mention that we did this entire project while speaking Spanish? It was a challenge, since we hadn't had a "Spanish night" in a few months, but the bagels turned out okay, so I guess we must have been doing alright...

I also want to say, since my photography learning process is a big part of this blog, that I have a special technique of using the built in flash on my camera that I'm excited about. All the photos above were taken in rather low-light with my special technique. I think it turns out pretty nice.


Jed said...

I didn't know they were easy to make either. Perhaps we could both benefit from a few more Conan novels?

I baked bread a lot in my youth with my step-grandmother. I really enjoyed it and have also longed to go back to the practice.


glo said...

Yum - those bagels look great. Check Chris' Mother Earth News for an awesome and easy bread recipe. (Dec/Jan 08)

Amy said...

I had no idea bagels were easy. I would think they were hard to make. Go figure.

Thanks for sharing this. Perhaps we could make bread together this weekend?

Amy said...

Oh, and please share the bread recipe if you find it! The bread your mom made was so good and she said it doesn't even require kneading.