29 July 2011

sesame bagels

i love a good bagel.  my kids love bagels of any sort.  and my better half will eat a half hard bagel toasted and brought back to life.  we're bagel kind of people.  i wish my waistline were more bagel friendly.  or maybe i wish that bagels were more waistline friendly!  ha!  but the really good news is that these are really a fun afternoon activity...even with kids.  they love rolling out the bagels and the love plopping them in the water to begin cooking.  it's just plain fun.  this recipe comes from one of my all time favorite books called "artisan bread in five minutes a day".  it's a good one to have on your shelf!  and the bread you'll make is impressive.  so if you're trying to impress people you should get this cookbook and then make the bread and bagels.  you'll be popular. 
this is a simplified version of the original recipe:

for the dough:
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T yeast
1 1/2 T salt
1 1/2 T sugar
6 1/4 cups bread flour (although i used all purpose)

in a large pot:
8 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1 t baking soda 

you'll also need to have ready:
sesame seeds
clean dish towel
extra flour for dusting towel

mix yeast, salt and sugar with the water.  add flour and mix just until combined.  cover (not airtight, or you'll have an explosion!) and allow to rest at room temp. until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top) about 2 hours.  the dough can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use.

preheat oven to 400 degrees and place an empty broiler tray in the oven.  cut dough into equal pieces and shape into balls.  cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temp. for 20 min.

prepare the boiling pot of water, sugar, and baking soda.

punch your thumb through the center of each ball and quickly stretch into circle.  you'll want a large hole, about triple the width of the bagel wall.

drop the bagels into simmering water one at a time, making sure they're not crowding one another.  let them simmer for 2 minutes on the first side, flip them over and simmer for 1 minute on the other side.

remove from the water and place on a clean kitchen towel that has been lightly dusted with flour.  then place them on a cooking sheet or pizza peel (if you plan to cook them on a pizza stone).  sprinkle with sesame seeds.

place sheet into oven (or slide bagels onto stone already preheated in oven), pour one cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the overn door.  bake with steam for about 20 minutes or until deeply browned and firm.

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