Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bagels for Beginners

Bagels are really not much harder to make than a loaf of bread. However, they can be a bit time consuming since cooking them involves a two step process. First, they are boiled to give them a chewy texture and then they are baked to finish the cooking process. I like to surrender to the bagel making process and make a monsterous batch. After a few times, the process becomes very rhythmic and relaxing. Robert, who's 7, thought this was great fun.

The recipe I used was inspired by the cinnamon yeast bread recipe in Rhonda Barfield's Feed Your Family for $12 a Day. I mix my bread dough in an old fashioned bread bucket but I'm certain a Kitchen Aid type mixer would work well too.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
4 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbs yeast
2 tsp salt
3 Tbs blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup canola oil

Let this sit and begin to bubble for about 15 minutes. Then add:
8-9 cups of whole wheat bread flour

Once its all combined, I stir it (this takes the place of kneading) for about 12 minutes in my bread bucket. Cover and let sit 15 minutes. Divide dough into four large balls. Flatten the balls out slightly and sprinkle the following over the top of each dough ball:
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
a handful of raisins

Work these into the the dough and divide each ball into 6-12 little balls, depending on how large you want your bagels to be. You'll find that cinnamon and sugar shoot out of the dough as you do this, once you've made the ball roll it in what has ended up on the table.

Flatten these out and stick your finger in the center to make the hole. Place them on a greased cookie sheet and cover. Let rise for 30 minutes. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, add 1 tsp of sugar to help with browing and reduce to a simmer. Add four bagels to the water. Simmer for 3 minutes, then turn and simmer 4 minutes on the other side. Take out of the water with a slotted spoon and pat dry. Place back on the greased cookie sheet. This is the step that takes the most time. Repeat with remaining bagels. Once you have a full cookie sheet, bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

When you are done simmering the bagels, you're left with water that has a fair amount of cinnamon and raisins in it. We used it to make oatmeal.


Barbara said...

This is great! I've always wanted to try making bagels. I'm saving this one for sure!


Anonymous said...

thanks great recipe!