Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bread Snob Bakery: Homemade Bagels!

Well it is no secret that I am a food snob. Not a foodie, a food snob. There is a difference! I don't need fancy food, I just need good food! And, the height of my snobbishness is with bread. 

Bread these days usually can't even be called bread anymore. With dough conditioners and preservatives designed to extend the shelf life of breads, some of which have even been found to cause cancer, the bread aisle is probably the most confusing section of the grocery store. 

We deserve better bread! I love nothing more than a good burger (okay, maybe good pizza), but countless potentially epic cheeseburgers have been ruined by being served on a nothing bun out of a plastic bag. I pack my own homemade hamburger buns in ziplock bags to use in restaurants when I feel the bread is inferior. Yes it embarrasses my husband but I don't care. Its not like I wave it around and tell everyone! I'm cool, man, I'm just super passionate about bread.

Well you can read all about my homemade hamburger buns (which this week feature minced onion), but this week I am making bagels. I tried this last weekend and sent them to my husband's office on Monday. He came back with raving reviews so I am making another batch today for our Memorial Day weekend trip.

You'll need a bread maker! Here's the recipe:

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 tbsp honey
3 cups bread flour
1.25 tsp salt
1.5 tsp dry active yeast
You can also add cinnamon, onion, garlic, poppy seeds, whatever you want!

Put all of the ingredients into the bread maker and select the Manual or Bagel Dough setting. 

Ignore the time on the bread maker and take the dough out after 50 minutes with lightly floured hands and separate it into 10 equal pieces. 

Roll each piece into a ball and poke a hole in the middle to make a bagel shape. 

Place each bagel onto a greased baking sheet and allow to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes or until double. If the hole in your bagel has closed up, just poke it out again. No biggie.

Boil some water in a big pot (2 quarts should do) and drop three bagels at a time into the boiling water. You want to leave enough space for them to swim around freely. After 15 seconds, flip them over and let them boil for 15 more seconds on the other side. Then, remove with a slotted spoon and let dry on a baking rack.

Once they have all been boiled, transfer them back to the baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until toasty on top.

Enjoy the aroma of good, simple, wholesome bread in your house for the rest of the day!

This process takes about an hour and a half from start to finish, with about 20 minutes of actual working time. You can do this. And more importantly, you should. Slow down, take your health seriously, and make time for better bread.

You deserve it!

Get out there and get healthy today - eat good bread!

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