There is nothing better than making your own bread. I taught a class of 6th graders last week and one of them brought in cupcakes for a project. They were supposed to demonstrate something that they knew they weren’t good at, and she chose baking. I asked if she made them from scratch and she said no. Fine. Then a girl from behind us said in disbelief and with a little bit of disgust, “Who makes things from scratch anymore?!”
How did we lose touch with something as basic as making our own food? The idea that some people would rather buy something off of a shelf without ever knowing where it came from is unthinkable to me. I know I know, there’s a balance. We can’t all be amish. We can all, however, be educated and aware that our food doesn’t have to share an ingredient with our yoga mat or whatever.
To me, bread is the ultimate celebration of slow food. It’s about making something from some things with time and love and appreciation. So today these bagels are my way of honoring the process and a reminder that convenience isn’t always an acceptable answer.
BAGELS (makes 8 bagels)
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. white flour
2 t. salt
1 T. instant yeast
3 T. caster sugar
Egg wash (1 egg with 1 T. of water)
Toppings: Sesame seeds, sea salt, cheese, herbs, etc.
425 F / 220 C
- In a stand mixer or glass bowl, combine flours, salt, yeast, sugar and water making sure to put the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl before adding the water.
- Knead with the dough hook for about 6 minutes or 12 minutes by hand.
- Place in greased bowl covered with a bag or plastic wrap in a warm place and let rise for 2 hours or until double in size.
- Once risen, cut your dough into 10-12 pieces depending on how big you want your bagels to be. Roll them into smooth balls by pinching the sides and gathering them at the bottom of the ball.
- Once finished place your finger through the middle and roll the dough around both of your index fingers until you reach the size you want. NOTE: They will puff up in the second rise and boiling so, don’t underdo it!
- Cover with plastic again and let rise 20 minutes in a warm place.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil and preheat your oven.
- Once the water is boiling, add the sugar and drop the bagels (4 or 5 at a time) into the pot and boil 90 seconds on each side turning with a slotted spoon. Place the boiled bagels on a pan lined with parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina.
- If you desire toppings: brush the top of the bagels with the egg wash and add what you’d like. In this case sea salt and seeds. If you don’t desire any toppings, just egg wash the bagels and bake them.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and bake for 10 minutes again. Don’t worry, your toppings won’t fall off.
ROASTED RED PEPPER CREAM CHEESE:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 roasted red pepper
- Pulse in a food processor the pepper and cream cheese until smooth.