"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing"~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Best-ever Bagels

BAGELS!!! Who would have that you could make your bakery bagels at home!! Plump and flavorful.... right in your own kitchen. They freeze very well ( I actually recommend freezing them) and are great toasted as well as plain. Eat it anyway you like it...they are delicious either way.
I have done this recipe over and over....they always come out great! I like making my own bagels since you know exactly what goes in them. I love the fact that you can make a whole variety of them by varying the toppings. You can also implement some of the topping ingredients right into the dough as you shape them for the last rise. I love to knead in the dough some grated Swiss cheese or any kind of cheese I have on hand.

6 2/3 -7 cups white bread flour (I like to use King Arthur)
1 TBS salt
1 TBS instant yeast
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS oil
2 1/4 warm water

Combine flour, salt and yeast in a mixer bowl( I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer here to do the heavy work of kneading). Add sugar and oil to the water and pour over the dry ingredients. Knead well for about 5-6 minutes using the kneading attachment on you mixer. Form into a ball and put into an oiled bowl turning once to coat dough. Cover with plastic and let rise one hour or until doubled. ( I usually preheat my oven for a minute until it is nice and cozy:)... turn off the oven and let the dough rise in the oven free from drafts).
Punch dough down and form into an elongated shape and cut into approximately 15 pieces. Form each piece into a ball and then poke hole in the middle and stretch out a bit so that it has place to rise and still see the hole after it has risen.
Let rise 20-25 minutes. In a large pot boil about 6-8 cups of water and add5 tsp baking soda along with 2 TBS sugar. Bring to boil and boil 2- 3 bagels at a time for about a minute on the top side of the bagel . I usually do not turn the bagel to boil on the underside as I noticed that it can get too soggy.
Lift each bagel with a slotted spatula and drain all the water. Place on an oiled cookie sheet (bottom side down) or on a parchment lined cookie sheet ( I prefer the parchment as it makes the cleaning easier. Brush the bagels with a beaten egg and sprinkle your favorite toppings. Preheat oven to 375, place in middle rack, and bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned.
Tips for toppings: Dried onion flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, grated Parmesan, Swiss, cheddar cheese, diced pickled jalapenos, even dried dill...maybe even sun dried tomatoes and basil...you get the idea:) Have fun and enjoy!