Of all the breakfast foods out there, bagels are the one that have my heart. Sure, I dig into a bowl of steel cut oats or yogurt & fiber one most days but if I'm feeling naughty, it's a big fat toasted bagel (preferably garlic or everything, or anything that stinks! haha) slathered with an inch of cream cheese that I go for. Well maybe not a whole inch of cream cheese, but close!
I've wanted to make bagels for as long as I can remember but have been afraid to even try since I have about as much experience working with yeast as I have with building houses (i.e. none) House building seems like so much work and seems to have slightly more consequences if you screw up so in comparison, making bagels actually seems pretty easy! Plus, there are no slivers with bagel making!
I've stumbled over lots of yummy looking bagel recipes on blogs over the last few months but ultimately decided to follow a wonderful bagel recipe I found posted at Thibeault's Table, particularly because of her beautiful and easy to follow step by step pictorial on making them. It made all the difference! Here's the page with the actual recipe I used.
I ended up making an assortment of bagels: garlic, onion, everything, asiago cheese, poppyseed, sesame and even a plain one. I used dried minced garlic and onion (the kind you find in the spice aisle) and for the cheese bagels, I mixed a little bit of grated asiago with grated parmesan and it worked pretty well (just make sure to grate your own cheese of course!). The recipe is originally for 48 mini bagels but I made about 15 normal sized ones. I like me a big bagel!
Two things I will do differently the next time I make them: #1, add a little salt to my toppings. Bakery bagels always have a salty bite to them and these didn't. I think there is plenty of salt in the recipe but a little coarse seas salt tossed on towards the end of baking would be nice. #2, watch my bagels more closely when boiling. J and I had a couple cocktails while doing our baking on Saturday (J made pretzels while I made bagels. Adorable!) and definitely didn't focus on timing as much as I probably should have! (It's also why my pictures get progressively blurrier)
Anyhow, these came out great and were so much easier than I thought they'd be! I'm no longer afraid of working with yeast and am plotting my next baking adventure. Try these-you'll be impressed with yourself too!
All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley