June 21, 2009

Grandma's Bagels - Round 2

In the week leading up to Grandma's Marathon, I gave my grandma's bagels another shot.  After a not-s0-successful attempt at bagel-making several months ago, I gave a little thought to what might have gone wrong and made a couple changes.  This time around I made sure the yeast activated before adding in the flour, and I added more water than the original recipe called for.

While the end result was much improved, the level of stress was pretty much the same, mostly due to the fact that my mixer suddenly stopped working and refused to restart.  I held back my tears (yes, a broken down KitchenAid brings on tears), pressed on with the bagel making, and later was relieved to discover that the mixer had just overheated.  Whew.  Then I ate a load of bagels, headed north to Duluth, and ran 13.1 miles with my friend Meghann, among others.  

Here is the revised recipe.  

3-1/3 cups water (between 110 and 115 degrees)
2 tbsp dry yeast
2 tbsp salt
6 tbsp sugar
12 cups flour

1. Combine yeast and water.  Add salt & 5 tbsp sugar.  If yeast does not activate in 5 minutes or so, toss it out and start over.  
2. Add the flour to the water mixture.  Knead or beat with dough hook until fairly smooth.  Dough will be pretty stiff.  Add a few tablespoons of water as needed so the dough isn't too crumbly.  
3. Place dough in greased bowl, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes to an hour.
4. Punch dough into a flat rectangle, about 1" thick.  
Option 1: Cut into 24-36 strips.  Wrap loosely around 3 fingers, and pinch off ends of dough.  Overlap end 3/4" and press together to form a ring.  
Option 2: Cut into 24-36 pieces.  Shape into a disc.  Poke a couple fingers through the center to create a hole.  
Cover with towel and let rise 20 minutes.
5. Drop bagels one at a time into 1 gal. boiling water with 1 tbsp. sugar.  Simmer 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until they float.  Remove, and cool on a towel.  
6. Dip in toppings of your choice.  Bake at 400 on greased baking sheet for 30-35 minutes or until browned.  

First, make sure the water is between 110 and 115.  I'm pretty sure the yeast did not activate the last time, probably due to the water temperature being too low.  

When the yeast has activated it will foam a little.  

It wasn't until I was mixing dough that I remembered how dry it was the first time, so I gradually added more water to make it more workable.  I revised the recipe to add 1/3 cup more water at the beginning and then you can add more if needed while it's in the mixer.  It's still a pretty stiff dough, but it's not crumbly.  

Once the dough is pretty smooth, place it into a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around to coat it.  Cover it with a clean towel and place in a warm place for about an hour.  The original recipe called for 15 minutes, but I don't think a little longer resting time can hurt.  

Turn the dough out onto your work surface.  Doesn't it look like a big brain?  Or a Kirsten-sized brain?  

Press the dough out until it's about an inch thick.  

Cut into either strips or small pieces to shape into bagels.  I tried both ways, and I found that cutting small pieces was easier than strips.  Just cut a chunk of dough, kind of work it into a disc, then poke a hole through the center with a few fingers.  It's much easier to keep the holes smaller this way and you don't have to worry about pinching the ends of strips together, which I found to be a pain.  

Once you shape the bagels let them sit for about 15 to 20 minutes before boiling them.  

I was able to get two dozen large bagels out of the recipe.  And one little rectangle.  

Boil the bagels for 5 minutes or so, turning them occasionally.  

Don't put too many bagels in at once because they'll expand a little.  

I didn't realize how much they would grow...

Poppy seed, parmesan, and cinnamon & sugar.  

Before baking.

After baking.

And the whole bounty.  

Happy Father's Day!

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

Those look really good! Did you register your mixer? KitchenAid stuff has a lifetime warranty if you register it when you buy it...

June 22, 2009  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Yeah, I registered it. I just didn't want to have to deal with it all. Yum soon?

June 23, 2009  

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