Monday, January 31, 2011

January Roundup

BAGELS, BAGELS! Thank you Dorrie for such a great challenge. Thank you to everyone that participated. Looking forward to February!

Congratulations to one of our fellow HTC bakers, Nancy, on the birth of her daughter Sara Penelope at the beginning of the month.

Stay warm everyone!

Posted by -

Friday, January 28, 2011

Plain Bagels

Posted by - Corrine

I'm almost late with my first post for the January challenge on but here it is!

I love bagels, especially boiled bagels, which is really the only thing that should be calling itself a bagel.  I went with Nigella Lawson's bagel recipe.  I was a little leery since I find her instructions aren't always as detailed as a novice might need, but I'm getting confident with my baking so I gave it a go.

The bagels turned out perfectly.  Well, not nearly as pretty as her's but there were a few decent ones that made it in the photo.  I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough, and it almost overheated.  I think once the dough really comes together it would be wise to knead it by hand.  I literally think I would cry if something happened to my mixer.

Not terribly labour intensive, these bagels are worthy of a bakery (other than their looks) so I'll definitely make them again, although I probably could have let them brown just a bit more.

Note: These bagels got quite hard the next day, so eat them fast or freeze them within a day. :)

Nigella's Bagels
6 3/4 - 7 c bread flour, plus more as necessary for kneading
1 tbsp salt
1 pkg Rapid Rise yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil, plus more for greasing
2 1/4 c warm water (about 110 F), plus more as needed
2 tbsp malt or sugar for poaching
2-3 baking sheets, oiled or greased

1. Combine flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl. In separate container, add sugar and oil to the water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid, mixing to a dough with a spatula or wooden spoon.

2. Knead the dough either by hand or with dough hook, try to add more flour if you can. The dough is better dryer than wet. It will be stiff and hard to work. Even with a dough hook, kneading takes about 10 minutes. (keep an eye on this if you're using a mixer, I found it only took about 8 minutes)

3. Form the dough into a ball and put it into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat all around. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour. Once dough is well risen, poke with finger to test; impression should remain.

4. Punch the dough down and knead again, divide into 3 pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a rope then cut each rope into 5 pieces. Roll each piece between the palms of your hands into a ball, then roll another rope; curling to form a ring. Seal the ends by overlapping and pinching the ends together.

5. Put on a large pan of water to boil, when it boils, add malt or sugar.

6. Set the bagels on the baking sheets, cover with tea towels and leave for 20 minutes. Bagels should grow puffy. Preheat oven to 500 F(or your oven's max temp.)

7. When the water is boiling, start poaching. Drop in a few bagels at a time. Boil for 1 minute, flipping once. Remove from water, place back on baking sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they're shiny and golden brown.

Makes 15 Bagels

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bagels, Bagels!

Posted by -Lena

Bagels are always there on my 'to-bake' list but it's never been a priority here. But this time i know it's an opportunity for me to bake those bagels..that's the theme for this month Have The Cake (HTC) event. The challenging part of baking bagels to me is the boiling part..i'm not quite sure how to do it so i've actually watched a few clips in youtube. There some time given for the bagels to rise therefore I have to be really careful and gentle when transferring the bagels to the pot for boiling, otherwise they will all turn wrinkled. I've come across a few recipes for bagels, they all have different boiling time, some 30-60seconds and some 15seconds. I understand that the longer the boil, the chewier the crust will be. This applies too if we want a thicker crust and bagels are also meant to be dense. So dont expect it to be like those asian type of soft fluffy buns that we usually love, it's not. But the ones that i have in Coffeebean  here are not chewy, wonder why? Can somene tell me  what is really the texture of a true and good bagels, do they have to be very chewy till one's jaw get tired? There's a variety to put for toppings... poppy seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon sugar, onions, etc..and make your favourite fillings and it's best to eat it fresh out from the oven while the crust is still crispy, it will lost its crispyness after a while.

Ingredients:( Biscuits, Baking and Cakes - the essential recipe cookbook)
450gm strong plain flour/bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2tsp easy blend dried yeast
2 medium eggs
1 tsp clear honey ( i skipped this)
2tbsp sunflower oil
250ml/90z tepid water

To finish:
1tbsp caster sugar
beaten egg, to glaze

1.Preheat oven to 200C/400F 15 minutes before baking. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast, then make a well in the centre.Whisk the eggs together with the honey and oil. Add to the dry ingredients with the tepid water amd mix to form a soft dough.
2.Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 mins unti lsmooth and elastic. Put in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 45 mins, or ubtil doubled in size.
3.Briefly knead the dough again to knock out the air. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, form each into a 20.5c/8inch roll, curve into a ring and pinch the edges to seal. Put the rings on an oiled baking sheet, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for 20 mins, or unti risen and puffy.
4. Add the caster sugar to a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil, then drop in bagels one at a time and poach for 15seconds. Lift out with a slotted spoon and resturn to baking tray.
5.Brush the bagels with beaten egg and sprinke with toppings. Bake for 12-15minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bagels - January Project

Posted by - Cindy

I am so excited to be a part of this baking group!!

For my bagels I used the recipe found at Although I followed the recipe as written, I was very disappointed with the results. They certainly are no threat to the local Jewish deli!!

I was looking for that crispy outside & chewy inside. These did not have that. Sadly, there was no crispy outside.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby Bagels

Posted by - Nancy


Maybe I am crazy, but I really wanted to make this months challenge. I have never made bagels before and I was intrigued. Of course with a newborn I figured I wouldn't have the chance to. Until yesterday, when my hubby took the toddler to his gym class leaving me with the easy one. Plus, I have my new carrier and I figured what better way to break it in than kneading some dough? So after we nursed and I strapped on the little miss, I set out to bake some bagels. I followed the recipe Vivian posted since I had limited time to look for one and it looked delicious.

I was glad I used it because it produced some yummy, crunchy yet chewy bagels.


Of course I added some flavor to mine because I love variety. In my pantry I was able to find: sesame seeds, salt, garlic, cinnamon sugar and I left a few plain. So far the cinnamon sugar is my favorite!

Saturday, January 8, 2011 Boiled Bagels

Posted by - Vivian

I was excited by this month's challenge as bagels are one of my favorite things to munch on.  There were recipes, on the Internet, that were long and quite tedious  and others that were quite easy.   Fast, easy and tried and true recipes are my favorite to make so I went to and found this one:
By: Jandl

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar

1.In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour and yeast. Mix water, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt together, and add to the dry ingredients. Beat with a mixer for half a minute at a low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl clean. Beat at a higher speed for 3 minutes. Then, by hand, mix in enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

2.Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Cover, let rest for 15 minutes.

3.Cut into 12 portions, shape into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the center with your finger, and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape. Cover, let rise 20 minutes.

4.Meanwhile, start a gallon of water boiling. Put 1 tablespoon of sugar in it, mix it around a bit. Reduce to simmering.

5.When the bagels are ready, put 4 or 5 bagels into the water, and cook 7 minutes, turning once. Drain them. Place on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, eat hot or cold.

6.Broiling option: For a glossier surface, place raised bagels on an ungreased baking sheet prior to boiling them. Broil them five inches from heat for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes on each side. Then put them into the hot water to be boiled as above. Note: do not bake broiled bagels as long as non-broiled ones, 25 minutes should be long enough.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Adventures in Bagel Making

Posted by - Dorrie

This month I got to choose the baking challenge on Have the Cake. As much as I love all the sweet stuff, I thought I would try more of a straight "baking" challenge and offer up bagels as this month's contest.

Before attempting this project however, I needed to finish my other project in the kitchen - painting. Before Christmas I started painting the kitchen, suffering from a brief memory lapse that allowed me to think that with a toddler and a 9-month-old I would be able to find the time to complete the painting before Christmas. Thanks to some wonderful friends who took the kids for a few hours this weekend, we finally completed the painting and here is the finished product:

New Kitchen Color
New Kitchen Color

And now on to bagels!

The bagel recipe that I used was one clipped from an old Sunset magazine of my mother's. It's a recipe for Asiago bagels, but since I didn't have Asiago (and don't really like Asiago bagels) I made onion bagels and Everything bagels with the basic bagel recipe.

Onion/Everything Bagels (Makes 12 bagels)

2 packages active dry yeast

3 Tblsp. sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 Tblsp. dehydrated onion (optional)

About 6 cups all-purpose flour

1 large egg yolk

1. Combine yeast and 2 cups of warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes until the yeast has bloomed. Mix in the sugar, onion, salt, and 5 1/2 cups of the flour until the dough forms a sticky ball.

2. Spread 1/2 cup of flour on a board and knead the flour into the dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, adding flour if necessary.

3. Put the dough into a warmed and oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a cloth towel. (To warm the bowl swish hot water around the bowl, dry off the excess and then oil the bowl.) Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size (about 40 minutes).

4. Once the dough has risen, knead the dough briefly on a floured board and then divide into 12 equal portions. Form each piece into a ball and then while holding the ball in both hands use your thumbs to form a hole in the center of the ball. Keeping a thumb in the center, work around the bagel to make it smooth and evenly thick.

5. Allow the bagels to rise on a floured board, covered, for about 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.

7. Once the bagels have risen, drop them into the boiling water and boil until the bagels are spongy, but firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

8. Remove the bagels from the water with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on a towel or board. Once drained, put the bagels on greased baking sheets.

9. Beat the egg yolk with 1 Tblsp water and brush over the bagels. Add more onions for onion bagels and for "Everything" bagels, sprinkle with onion, salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and anything else you would like!

10. Bake the bagels in a 375 degree oven until browned, 30-35 minutes, and then cool on racks.

The dough itself was easy to make and I got it done quickly while the baby was napping and Anna was at her pre-pre-school class.

I do love kneading bread dough - there's something really relaxing about the folding and pushing of the soft dough under my hands. It was especially lovely kneading the dough since the baby was quiet, Anna was gone and I was listening to the "Garden State" soundtrack. I then let it rise in my warmed, oiled bowl:

Bagel dough
Bagel dough

Once I had formed the bagels (I really did not get the "12 equal portions" thing right!) and they had risen, I plopped them into the boiling water.

Boiling bagels
Boiling bagels

Fair warning here - I discovered that bagels get MUCH larger while they are boiling - I ended up with some really huge bagels!

After they were drained I basted the bagels with the egg wash and since I was using a paintbrush Anna, who was back from class by then, had to help with the basting:

Anna basting bagels
Anna basting bagels

She also had a great time helping me sprinkle all of the toppings onto the bagels...

While I was trying to boil, baste and then bake the bagels I had stupidly timed it to coincide with lunch time. So, while I was boiling bagels I was trying to also feed Henry his baby cereal and make Anna's lunch. It became a little hectic and I accidentally left Henry with the cereal spoon within reach. After sliming himself with the cereal from the spoon he got tired and starting pulling at his hair, resulting in this:

Henry disaster
Henry disaster

And yes, there was a bath for the small boy after the bagels were done...

But the chaos was well worth it as the bagels turned out beautifully!

Finished bagels
Finished bagels

They were yummy and chewy; just what I was hoping for in my bagel making adventure!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January Challenge - Bagels

Posted by - Dorrie

I love bagels; I love them smeared with butter or cream cheese or sandwiching a nice healthy stack of egg, cheese and bacon. But here in Colorado we don't really have anywhere to get a real bagel; my husband is always complaining that instead we have "circular bread".

So, for the January challenge I will be seeking (and hope you will search with me as well) a recipe for an authentic bagel. There are many ways to make this classic, so I hope to see lots of varieties and get lots of new ideas.

Whatever your bagel craving, I hope you have fun and enjoy! Happy New Year everyone and happy bagel making!