Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bagels: Salt Faults.

Hello, hello. It has been an incredibly long time since I have posted on this thing, mostly due to overwork and a lack of time to use the internet (or, of course, bake). However, last week caught me in a rare free period, so I made some bagels. I can't seem to convince the above picture to upload vertically, but you get the general idea.

I took this recipe from The Fresh Loaf, where you can find specific instructions. The bulk ingredients you'll need are:

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
7 3/4 cups flour
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons malt powder
A pinch of baking soda for the water in which y

As a heads up: I found that this recipe yields a LOT of dough. If you want huge bagels, go ahead and divide the dough into 12 pieces, as specified on the Fresh Loaf. I found that 16 bagels was just right for getting breads of manageable size.

The salt is important! Don't use too little. I skimped, using the amount of salt that I happened to have left, and was met with disaster when all the bagels went stale literally overnight. This is a dry, dry, DRY dough, and the salt is your one hope, especially if you're baking in a dry climate (the dormitory in which I live is barely inhabitable).

Aside from being quick to dry out, the bagels were fantastic. I brought two to the dining hall for Sunday brunch as soon as they were cool enough to eat, and covered them both with cream cheese. It was impossible to resist eating another as a bedtime snack.