Every once in a while, my cravings get the best of me, and I indulge in whatever that "something" is that I wanted. Sometimes it's a burger, sometimes something fried and sometimes it's a childhood classic that nothing else can replace. Since there was next to nothing going on yesterday, rather than taking the easy way out and heading to the neighborhood grocery store for the lox, bagel, and cream cheese
that I was craving, thanks to Adam's suggestions, I went a more complicated route.
That's right folks, I made bagels. In another world, I would've made the smoked salmon too, but in this world, our grill is broken...
I'm a bagel snob. No, really, I am. A bagel, in order to be "worth it" for me, needs to meet a few criteria:
No larger than the palm of my hand. Those big, poufy, doughy "bagels" from places like Dunkin Donuts and Einstein's are not bagels. They're bread with a hole in the middle.
There must be a discernible crust that crunches upon biting, and is a bit difficult to cut through.
The bagels must preferably be made by a person, not a machine.
Many people do not understand how a girl from Chicago can have such a good appreciation for what is a typical "New York" thing. Good bagels like that are generally limited to a few places in the NYC area and that's it. Unless you're like me and grew up with "New York Bagel & Bialy" down the street. I was appalled at what some people called bagels when I left my neighborhood... I digress.
So yeah, I made bagels. And they were easy! And significantly more healthy than the bagels of chain restaurants!
First, the recipe, adapted from this one:
Homemade bagel recipe
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 tsps instant yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.
Measure the flour, sugar, salt, and oil into the bowl of a mixer (or large mixing bowl). Mix the yeast into the warm water and allow to sit and get foamy for about 20 minutes. Pour the yeast and water into the flour mixture and begin to knead. The dough will first get very sticky, and then will come together into a super smooth dough. Allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Turn it out onto a clean surface and divide into 8 pieces. Allow them to rest about 10 minutes. Roll each piece into a snake and join the snake together to form a ring.
They'll look like this:
Allow the rings to rest about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 425*, and bring a large pot of water to boil. Boil the bagels without crowding them for one minute, then flip and boil another minute. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and, if desired, drop into a dish with your topping of choice. I used sesame seeds.
Bake the bagels on a lightly oiled baking pan for about 20 to 25 minutes or until brown and crispy.
Sorry for the gratuitous pictures... I'm proud of myself! While the bagels were baking, Adam went out and got some smoked wild Norwegian salmon and cream cheese, and we enjoyed a typical Jewish breakfast as our Saturday night dinner.
Notice the crust. Notice the relatively small size. Notice that I FREAKING MADE BAGELS! They. Were. PERFECT. No more settling for bread-with-a-hole because I want a bagel. I can't wait to try different types, whole wheat/grainy ones, egg ones... the possibilities are endless! The texture was right, the crust was right... they just were...right.
Speaking of photos, I spent a good portion of the weekend doing various photo projects like this:
And then I spent all of today (in its 85 degree glory) out with my friend Wendy and her daughter Sam, taking Sam's senior pictures! Here's a few of my favorites (and don't worry, I have both Sam and her mom's permission to post these!)
I'm rather proud of myself! Sam was an amazing first "client" and thanks for the opportunity to shoot your senior pictures!
Have a great night, and #TGIM!