Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bagels : 'TWD : Baking with Julia'

My first brush with bagels was in University. Every friday night, before heading out for the night, my Brazilian flatmate and his friend would have the same dinner of beer and bagels. And it never changed. It was almost like a weekly bonding ritual between them. Even the bagels would have the same filling!! It would start of classically with a layer of cream cheese, then a layer of smoked salmon and then, get this.. a layer of the red-packet 'Kettle Chips'!!! Dude food, anyone???
 
It's been a while since University, but that food memory with bagels has endured. And then Hollywood and American television would imprint the bagel as the classic 'on-the-move' breakfast along with that towering cup of coffee!!! And that's how I've always seen them, as something that is bought and left to the professionals. But, there's always a first time. So, it was time to make bagels for the 'TWD : Baking with Julia' bake-together.

 
For anyone contemplating this recipe, a 'heads-up' on the fact that the recipe is almost 4 pages long!!! Coming back... bagels are made with the usual suspects - flour, yeast and water. The dough is proofed, shaped into their distinctive round shapes, boiled in hot water and then baked. All sounded pretty straight forward, albeit tedious, when I read it.

Now, I don't know if it was only me, but I found dough extremely wet and sticky to work with. And that made the whole thing a verry messy affair. Apart from that sticky issue, no complaints really with the process!!


The verdict : the bagels looked like how they should, but, as you can see from the photographs, uniformity in size is not one of my strengths. The slightly wrinkly crust had a crunch when you bit into it, before you encountered the soft bread inside. I did wonder though, should the bagels have been plumper and smoother?? Any thoughts on that...

There are tons of fillings to go with your bagels, varying with the time of day. I went with a simple schmear of butter and a cheese slice to go along with my morning cuppa. Have one and it will fill you up for a while...


But, I'll be honest, I'd only recommend this recipe for the enthusiastic baker, to understand the entire process that goes behind making a bagel. Personally, while I enjoyed the bagels, I found the recipe, especially the dough, a bit too tedious to work with. And it is one of those instances where the practicality and convenience of buying bagels from a good bakery wins over making them at home. 

However, if you are interested in the recipe, you will find it on Heather's blog. Due to copyright considerations, only the person hosting the recipe for the group 'TWD:Baking with Julia' can post the recipe on their blog. Alternately, you can write to me at bakerindisguise@gmail.com and I will mail you the recipe

50 comments:

  1. I like simple and fast recipes, but maybe one day :) it looks great for sure :)

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    1. I am totally with you on that Marta.. I like simple and fast and fuss-free recipes.. and thats why I found this recipe too tedious.. I rather buy them from the shop!! :) But its good to these once just to figure out the mystery behind making bagels!!

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  2. Sarvani, I just love your post, the wonderful story, the memories and the fantastic pictures! Your Bagels look delicious and wonderful and are presented in such a nice way! Always a pleasure to look at all your postings!

    Have a good week!

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    1. Thank you so much Andrea for your kind words!! Likewise I enjoy your posts .. and I think its so amazing.. you are in germany... and I in india.. and through our blogs we get a glimpse into each other's lives and cultures!!! Thats one thing I really like about blogging!!

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  3. This was a bit of a project, but kind of fun.
    Beautiful pictures and your bagels look tasty!

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    1. U bet they were a project Cher!! and the more I read other's posts.. I am guessing that the reason why my dough might have been stickier than the others .. might have something to do with the slightly higher temperatures and humidity we are still experiencing here in India.

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  4. It was a bit of a baking adventure, wasn't it? I enjoyed the fact that I learnt something new while doing it.

    Glad you enjoyed your freshly baked bagels!

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    1. "Baking adventure"... yup those are the right words!! :) I enjoyed the bagels.. I also enjoyed that i learnt something new.. but am not sure whether I would go back to it again .. just for the numerous steps and the time involved.

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  5. Your bagels are beautiful! Thank you for baking along this week! :D

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    1. Thanks Heather!! So impressed by yours!! :)

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  6. Everyone one of us have fond memories of enjoying food in the college or University canteen. I got my education from Chandigarh that's why I am saying canteen. Those were fun days:)
    I have not tried my hand on bagels so can't say much about it. But from your pictures I can tell how well you have done. I will check on the recipe later in the evening but If I am not wrong bagels are also boiled in water to get that nice sheen as I did for my brioche buns.
    Love,Neetu:)

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    1. You are absolutely right about the boiling bit.. its boiled in a sugar-baking soda bath... but your brioche buns were gluten-free.. this was like a flour bomb when you think about the amount of flour that goes into each of them!!! In the long run... your brioche buns are more of a keeper!!

      In this post, I was talking about my post-grad days... college days were in bbay and before the bagels.. it was the vada-pav!! :)

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  7. Uniformity is for machines. Your bagels shaped by hand are so beautiful when their different sizes. Not sure about the sticky dough - I used bread flour and it worked out ok.

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    1. Don't you know how to make someone feel better about their stuff!! Thank you!! :)

      You know out here in India.. we don't get the various options that you do.. like bread flour or high-gluten flour..we just have one option.. maybe that made a difference or what I am thinking is that the temps are still quite high out here.. so when i took the dough out of the fridge.. there was a bit of condensation on the dough.. and that may have made it a bit wetter than it should have... anyhow..

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  8. Your bagels look very delicious! And so professional looking, too!

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  9. Great photos as usual.. I was expecting a very sticky dough watching the video at youtube but mine was easy to handle.. It can be flour or weather I guess..

    The process was looong, but it was worth it for me when I took the first batch of home-made bagels out of the oven :)

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    1. Thank you ferda.. the more i see everyone else's .. I realise I was among the few to find the dough sticky and wet.. it must be something I did...

      Oh.. I agree.. when they popped out of the oven.. i impressed myself :) .. but for the time it takes.. am not sure when I will get back to it next...

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  10. First time I ever had a bagel was while I was at university in London!!! I was obsessed with them and tried all types of fillings, sweet and savoury and a combination of both (!) by the way Kettle chips is an AMAZING combination with your smoked salmon bagel especially after you downed a couple of pints :) :) So yes I love bagels. that is bagels made by others. To me bagel making is a craft better left to the professionals and you dear Sarvani because believe me when I tell you that there is nothing worse that a smooth, rubbery and dry bagel. From your amazing photographs I can see that your bagels are crunchy and moist and simply irresistible!!!

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    1. Awww.. thank you Maria for the sweetest words!! and ohh yes.. I agree.. home-made bagels get my vote as long as someone else makes them!! As for the kettle chips combination.. we might have all laughed at it in the flat... but we were all tempted.. they was something about the crunch of the kettle chips when these guys bit into them..that at some point or the other..we are all guilty of trying it.. and must admit.. these guys knew their stuff!!! :)))

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  11. I agree...fun to make and eat, but a LOT easier to buy :) I do wish I had a few leftover in my freezer! And giggling at the Dude Food...so true.

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    1. And u know Lizzy.. we might have all laughed at them.. but all said about dude food.. it does have its appeal..

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  12. I thought I might be the only one with wet and sticky dough and lack on uniformity. Must have been the recipe. The chips on the bagel really made me laugh. Nice bagels!

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    1. Oh good to know.. someone else also had the same problem.. because mostly everyone seemed to do alright with theirs.. although the recipe does keep talking about the wet and sticky dough.. anyhow.. good bagels they were.. but too much of an effort.. :)

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  13. Convenience definitely is a plus for purchased bagels! Yours do look delicious though :)

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    1. Thanks Sara!! :) buying them is so much easier.. none of that overnight resting.. nor the drama of throwing ice in the oven!! :)

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  14. 4 pages long?! That would surely be intimidating especially for a person like me who fears yeast anyways. Your bagels turned out so well, Sarvani! I think the effort was completely worth it. :)

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    1. Thanks Anuradha!! They turned out ok, but it was too much work...

      I wish I could get you to read the recipe.. not only is it 4 pages long.. there is so much drama in it.. at one stage you have to throw ice cubed into a hot oven o create steam.. when i did it.. i almost thought my poor old oven would short-circuit or something like that!!

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  15. Beautiful job on your bagels! Now I'm curious to read this recipe and maybe even give it a try, what could be better than fresh baked homemade bagels;-)

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    1. Thanks Patty!! Do try and get your hand on the recipes.. its a little saga with quite a bit of drama!! :))

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  16. Love your story and the presentation. Great photography.

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  17. I did sesame too! Enjoyed your story and nice pics!

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    1. Thanks lauren! I am a big fan of sesame.. and it must one of the most popular toppings...

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  18. I love how food can bring back memories! Your bagels look nice. It does take a little commitment to work through the recipe, but after a few times, it does get easier!

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    1. Agree!, although I wish someone else did the work!! :)

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  19. Cannot take my eyes off those bagels..I know its a bit tedious to make these but all worth the effort I say :)
    I have an award for you on my blog, please do collect it. Have a nice day!

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    1. Thanks Gauri!! They were quite a bit of work .. but no doubting the result... the bagels were good!!

      An award?!? sound like a school kid.. but wow!! thank you so much..am really touched you thought of me.. honestly ..also reassuring ..makes me feel that I must be doing something right!! :)) Thanks Gauri.. much much appreciated!!

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  20. Delicious Bagels... Loved your photography and presentation..


    Today's special - Onam Sadhya ~ The Grand Feast - Round up !!

    Inviting you to join my on-going event Natural Sweetness Event with White Sugar

    Cheers,
    Sharanya
    Sharans Samayalarai

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  21. Sorry I’m late!
    Let’s start this delicious „tour des blogs“ and see how the 85 bagels turned out.
    I had great fun making and bathing and baking them and will remake them for sure.
    It was a premiere for me: eating and baking (they are still a bit exotic, here in Switzerland).
    We have a bread called "Sils Bread" and it's also boiled in baking soda (much more baking soda) but are quite salty.

    I enjoyed reading your "stroll down memory lane" and love your pictures. Your bagels looks delicious!

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    1. Thank you!! :) Bagels are quite a novelty here in india too.. and while I really enjoyed them.. I dont think I'll be going through the effort any time soon..

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  22. I like the rustic look of your bagels - I bet they still tasted great!

    I haven't gotten around to trying this recipe yet... it seems like a lot more work than some other recipes I've tried :-)

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    1. They tasted awesome...but just too much work!! Although I'll admit.. make them once..its a great learning experience!!

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  23. I'm honored to be mentioned here, little sister. Very fond memories, and I agree that those bagels were really "dude food". All my love, John.

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    1. Very very fond memories Johnny Q!!!! Miss you tons darling big brother... hope we get to meet soon... Much love always, S!!!

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