Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Sunday Morning Nosh: 24-Hour Bagels

No comments:

This week, we've got yet another recipe for the students out there.

Like last week's soup, this isn't a fast recipe; that being said, the labor required is minimal, and the end results are truly fantastic.

Bagels are a staple of the student diet -- smeared with peanut butter and filled with banana slices, they're the perfect snack; piled high and broiled with cheese, they make an open-faced sandwich like no other. And on the weekends? A couple slices of lox, a schmear of Neufchatel, some ringlets of red onion, a little tomato, some capers...are you getting the idea?

Indeed, few foods are consumed by students more often, which makes the sad state of most bagels truly unfortunate. If you're going to eat lots of something, shouldn't it at least be good?

To that end then, this week, we're showing you how to make bagels -- easy, versatile, and better than any of the anemic specimens you'll find hanging around your local grocery store. Let's get to it.

24-Hour Bagels
Makes about a dozen

Yeast Starter:
2 envelopes Instant Yeast
4 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 cups Water (or only 2 Cups water, if making Pumpkin Spice)
1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 package Instant Yeast
3 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (or only 1 teaspoon, for sweet varieties)
2 Tablespoons Light Molasses

1 teaspoon Baking Soda (for the water)
2 Tablespoons Light Molasses (for the water)
1 Tablespoon Sugar (for the water)

1 Cup Cornmeal (for dusting the pan)

Suggested Flavor Variations:

Lemon-Sesame Bagels
Zest of 4 Lemons
1/4 Cup Black Sesame Seeds (to be sprinkled on top)

Pumpkin Spice Bagels
1/2 Cup Pumpkin puree
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Black & White Bagels
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

Onion Bagels
1 Large Vidalia Onion, minced
2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
[Editor's Note: Please note that the above variations are presented in quantities appropriate for an entire batch. If you'd like to split batches of dough in half (to make six each of two different flavors), make sure to half the flavoring ingredients for each portion as well.]

The day before you want to serve the bagels, start by combining two envelopes of the yeast, four cups of the flour, one Tablespoon of the sugar, and 2 and 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed; the dough will be exceptionally shaggy. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave in a warm place for two hours.

When you return, the dough should have doubled in size (if not more) and become pocketed with airholes.

Add in the last packet of yeast, the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and the 2 Tablespoons of light molasses.

Mix these ingredients in, followed by the rest of the flour. Knead the dough well, making sure all the flour has become mixed in. It will become very stiff.

If you're lazy like me, you can toss the dough, a few handfuls at a time, into your food processor. I can't say it enough -- you don't need many kitchen tools, but everyone, EVERYONE should own a food processor.

If you are adding in flavoring ingredients, do so at this time. Continue to knead for an additional 10 minutes (or five, in the mixer) after this point. For the purposes of this demonstration, I'll show you how I made the Lemon-Sesame batch. In this case, I zested three lemons, working the finely grated peel into the dough.

Tear the dough into 12 roughly equal pieces, and roll each piece into a ball with your hands.

Using your thumb, poke a hole in the center of each ball to form the familiar bagel shape. As the bagels will continue to swell with time, make sure to make each hole a bit larger than you'd want in the final product. See all those delicious bits of lemon zest in there?

Place the newly-formed bagels on well-greased cookie sheets and let them rise at room temperature for 2 more hours.

At this point, brush the bagels with oil, cover them with plastic wrap, and place them into the refrigerator overnight. This additional, cool fermentation will improve the structure of the final bagels and develop the flavor of the dough.

The next morning, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F.

Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil (about 6 quarts). Add the teaspoon of baking soda, the additional two tablespoons of light molasses, and the tablespoon of sugar to the boiling water.

Leaving the water at high heat, place the bagels into the boiling water, two at a time, for two minutes each side.

Bringing them out of the water, transfer them to a cookie sheet that has been well-coated with cornmeal. If you're using toppings (such as the sesame seeds), sprinkle these on top while the dough is still wet.

Place the cookie sheets containing the bagels into the hot oven. Let them cook for 10 minutes at 500. After 10 minutes, shut off the oven and, leaving it closed, allow the trapped heat in the oven to keep cooking the bagels for an additional half-hour.

Remove the bagels from the oven and serve them piping hot! The final product:

This is such a versatile recipe; adaptable, scalable, even gluten-free-able. While they don't keep well at room temperature for more than a day, they freeze exceptionally well (be sure to slice them first!), ensuring that you'll always have fresh, hot bagels only five minutes (and a toaster) away. Give these a try; they're easier than you think.

Music: Otis Redding -- "(Sittin' On) The Dock of The Bay"

No comments:

Post a Comment

© 2012. Design by Main-Blogger - Blogger Template and Blogging Stuff