Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day!

I have always wanted to try making bagels. I don't know why. I guess I'm a New Yorker at heart, even though I don't really like living in big cities. And the east coast is too uptight for me. But anyway, I had a vague notion in the back of my head (not unlike the notion that you can't refreeze meat) that they are time consuming. Except! This time my notion was right! But we'll get to that.

Serendipitously, or so I thought, I came across this post via Virginia Cooks! on the dawn of my snow day. All day to putter around the kitchen! Perfect! Unfortunately, they were apparently "craptacular" bagels. I think this is the PG version of "asstastic."

Not to worry. I have always had this recipe from Smitten Kitchen in my head when I was lusting after a steamy bagel making session. Oh yeah. I can see it now...flour, steam, gentle submersion. Mmmmm. But then! Out of nowhere, like a shot of cold water - they require high-glucose flour. I took my heartbreak to Facebook, who seemed to think I could overcome that with some therapy and a little all-purpose flour. So there I was, ready to dive in. Only to find the bagels need to retard in the fridge overnight. Thwarted. Bagels and I are going to take a break. Get a little space. See other carbs.

For example, I've decided to see an English Milk Loaf.

This loaf loves me for who I am, all-purpose flour and all.

And it will be ready to go when my left-over split pea soup is thawed in a couple hours.

BTW, I made this soup with the left over organic ham from Christmas dinner. It is so satisfying and delicious. Just sayin' (Oh the smell is better and better. I'm almost in tears that this is the last batch in the freezer...I may need to get another exorbitantly expensive ham from Kathy at Open Range Meats in Pecatonica).

snOMG! Why don't I make fresh bread all the time?!?! Nom nom nom.


  1. Mmm...that bread looks lovely.

    Smitten Kitchen's recipe for bagels is the one I've always wanted to try too!!! Maybe I'll just wait and see how your bagel adventure goes. :)

  2. Back in that time post-college and pre-Facebook Aaron and I ran a bakery for 4 years. My go-to bagel recipe is basically this:
    While I love Peter Reinhart with a passion (he's the dude who made the recipe the Smitten Kitchen one is based on) I love these bagels more. The hot water is key.

    Pro tips:
    1) If you have a mixer just throw all the ingredients in there together and mix till doughy. No need for 6 separate mixing steps.
    2) Unless you are Peter Reinhart you will really not notice the difference between normal flour and bread flour. You will, however, notice a difference between King Arthur and... well, anything else. I am biased because KA HQ is right nearby.
    3)This recipe calls for straight dough (mix, let rise, shape, bake) but works just as well if you mix and then put straight into the fridge. Then you only need ~30 minutes in the morning to have fresh bagels ready to go.

  3. Ooooh, thanks for the link, Leen. Jacob (I assume that's Jacob?), I'll get the milk loaf recipe in soon! I'm struggling with the copyright of typing recipes in...I think I can do 10% of any given cook book?