Right, so two weeks ago I was offered my first job in my field of study, which I accepted of course. So exciting! Now that I work at a medical laboratory, I need to wear scrubs and finding comfortable scrub pants is no easy task. I go to a different area of the city to do my shopping, and while there I happen across a half-price book store. I have trouble resisting bookstores and, well, getting a new job seems like the perfect excuse to go inside and treat myself to a new book.
So that’s what I do. I find a book called Grazing: A Healthier Approach to Snacks and Finger Foods by Julie Van Rosendaal, flip through the pages and find a recipe for homemade bagels. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me? I love bagels! I pay for it at the cash register, take the bus home, and flop onto the couch of my apartment with the book in my hands. Ah yes, life is so good right now.
At this point, I realize that I need to bake the bagels. Primarily for three reasons:
- I need to make at least something out of this book I just bought
- I’ve never made bagels before, and
- Bagels are awesome!
I was worried they would be difficult to make, but baking them is actually not difficult at all. If anything, it is kind of fun! I start off with making the dough. Stir 3 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast into 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Add 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Let stand for about 5 minutes. It should foam a bit. If it doesn’t, it may be expired.
Next, stir 1 tbsp. canola oil and 1 cup of flour into the yeast mixture. Stir. Add 2 tsp salt and another cup of flour. Keep adding flour until a soft dough is formed – about 4-5 cups of flour altogether. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. This may take up to 10 minutes.
Cover with a clean towel and let rest 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and loop the ends together. Let them rest another 20 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and preheat the oven to 450 F. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and place bagels into the pot. They should float. Gently simmer each bagel for one minute, then flip over and simmer 30 minutes on the other side. Remove from the pot and place on a wire rack to drain. I like to place a towel beneath the cooling racks to catch the dripping water. Once the excess water has drained, place the bagels on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with toppings such as sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
Finally, place in the oven and reduce heat to 425 F. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden on top. The result? Fresh bagels that are chewy on the outside but soft on the inside. They make for wonderful sandwiches all week long. They taste so much better than bagels bought from the grocery store.
The only downside is that they can’t be kept for too long in the cupboard or they’ll grow stale or mouldy. I like to slice them in half and freeze them. They still taste great when thawed out in a toaster.
Anyway that’s all for today. I need to go make myself another bagel sandwich now. Thanks for stopping by!