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: 1. 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. 2. There must be a discernible crust that crunches upon biting, and is a bit difficult to cut through. 3. 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 Ingredients 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. Directions 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!)

Picnik collage

Picnik collage2

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!

This entry was posted in Baking, friends, Photo Gigs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Classic

  1. mom says:

    bagels!!! yum.

  2. Okay, I am SO impressed that you made bagels. That is really awesome! And these look SO good!
    .-= Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg´s last blog ..Whole Foods Come to Town =-.

  3. Mara,
    Your bagels look AMAZING! I don’t use that word very often either. They look like REAL ny bagels. I wish I could steal a little of your baking mojo. I swear, you’re the best. The pictures you took could be in a foodie magazine… and I mean it! 😀
    Hope you and Adam had a nice weekend,
    .-= Mary @ What’s Cookin’ with Mary´s last blog ..Chicken Noodle Soup =-.

  4. HOLY crap! you made freaking bagels! and they look just like “home” ~~> we have pretty awesome bagels around my way so I am a bit of a bagel snob myself.

    Is there a such thing as whole wheat bread flour?!?

    I have never made bread…can I try bagels?!?
    .-= jen (@jeninRL)´s last blog ..mindful menu – week of 5.23.10 =-.

  5. Lindsay says:

    WOW… you are an AMAZING photographer!! I wish that I would have know you when I was a junior in high school because I would have totally asked you to take my senior pictures!! 🙂
    Your Bagels look awesome aswell!!
    .-= Lindsay ´s last blog ..The Bad Years Part 1 =-.

  6. Dude, I’ll get back to the bagels in a minute because you know I love bread…

    But seriously? The focus should be on how incredibly talented you are as a PEOPLE photographer! I agree with Lindsay – if I would have known you when I was a senior in HS I would have asked you to do it in a heartbeat! Amazinnnggg! The first of many clients, I’ll bet 😉

    That said, the bagels look ridiculously good. Do I have to try to convince you to open a bagel shop now, too? Sheesh.

    Thanks for the #TGIM love, as always! You brighten my Sundays when I read that!
    .-= Jenn (eating bender)´s last blog ..Pasta Primavera, Pretty Please =-.

  7. Kristina says:

    YUM ! your bagels look FABULOUS ! I’m with ya, as a fellow Bagel Snob! 🙂 those great big bready things don’t cut it… and it is so fun to make bagels… I used to make them and then hurry to work so they’d still be warm 🙂

    it’s been way too long since I’ve made bagels, you’re inspiring me to!

    fairly new reader to you, love your blog! …and your photography is BEAUTIFUL !

  8. Being from Long Island I am the ultimate bagel snob. People swoon over Dunkin’s bagels and all I have to say to them is really?! They apparently do not know the deal. These look legit. The crust!! Ahh, looks perfect! Now I really want a bagel.
    .-= Jackie (Peaces of Earth)´s last blog ..My Road to Health, Part 2: Finding Balance =-.

  9. Amazing pictures, girl! I am the same way with bagels – they need to have that crunch. Yours look great!
    .-= Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog ..Cookies and Cream Krispy Treats. =-.

  10. Amanda in Rabat says:

    The bagels looks so good- I never thought of making them b/c it seemed to hard, but your post is really inspiring and I think I’ll try it now. Thanks!

    What lovely pictures too- I’ll be the next one to say you could have done my pics in H.S. too!

  11. Lauren says:

    You’re amazing! Homemade bagels and professional photographer!!! I’m so impressed! 🙂
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Weekend Highlights =-.

  12. MarathonVal says:

    Your photography is beautiful, and Mara those bagels look ridiculously professional… yum!

  13. Oh goodness I’m so impressed! I don’t think I have the patience to make bagels and these look amazing. Great job Mara! 😀

  14. Hi Mara,

    These look great and it’s been on my list for a while to try making homemade bagels – your recipe looks so simple, too!

    I think I’ll try using melted butter or refined coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, though. (Or maybe olive oil?) I don’t keep veg oils in my house anymore and keep the healthier fats around instead. Have you tried making them with any of those? Hopefully they’ll still turn out as great as yours. Even when I’m making cookies or brownies or whatever, melted butter always works great, hopefully this will, too.

    Thanks for posting this! I can’t wait to hear how your variations go. 🙂


  15. YUMM-O!
    Those bagels look SO GOOD!
    Thanks for sharing, Mara!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,
    .-= Gabriela (froyolover)´s last blog ..Decisions, Decisions (+ YMIAJ!) =-.

  16. Amanda says:

    These look pretty legit! You did a great job! I’ve been dying to make bagels, but I’m worried I’ll just eat them all in one night! Nothing like a warm bagel, mmm!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Hawaiian Shish, without the Kebab =-.

  17. Melleah says:

    Those look great! Thanks for posting the recipe so we can make REAL BAGELS at home! 🙂

  18. Marianne says:

    Good job on the bagels! They look delightful.

    Are senior pictures something people do in the US? Because we just had one set of photos done in portable studio at the school for the yearbook. No one went out and had photos like that taken.
    .-= Marianne´s last blog ..Eggs Or No Eggs =-.

  19. Sheila in MD says:

    OMG-LOVE-LOVE-LOVE NY Bagel & Bialy! Everytime I go “home”, I bring back the mini-bialys! Totally agree with your assessment of a good bagel and am going to have to try your recipe!

    Sheila in MD

  20. Debbie says:

    I made them and they’re delicious!!! I put all the ingredients into my bread machine on the dough setting so I didn’t have to kneed it or leave it to rise, the machine did it all. They are absolutely amazing. Making my second batch this morning.

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