Homemade Bagels

Hi everyone!!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and for the non-Americans, a great Thursday 🙂 Being away from home is never easy for me, and this past week was no exception.  I had a really hard time missing out on Thanksgiving with my family, especially the cranberry margaritas.  My highlight of Thanksgiving this year was fitting in my first 5 mile run in a long time – my version of our annual Turkey Trot.  And then Friday I got ambitious and made bagels.  Oh how I miss bagels!  And the concept of having a handful of bagel places to choose from at any given time.  Bagels and pizza, really, but at least pizza is pretty international.  Bagels not so much.

I used this recipe from King Arthur flour, and I think they came out pretty well.  The whole process was supposed to take only a few hours, and I swear it took me all day, but I also spent a lot of time running errands and Skyping while I was supposed to be making bagels.  The recipe deserves another try.  I wouldn’t say they’re bagels quite yet, but they were close enough to be considered very nearly bagel-like, which, for me right now is enough.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 4 to 5 cups high-gluten flour {I used pizza flour.  Start with 4 and add more as needed.  It’s easier to add flour than take it out.}
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

For the water bath:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Toppings:

  • Poppyseeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Minced garlic
  • 2 eggs + water

 

Directions:

  • Combine all dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or, if mixing by hand, in a large bowl.
  • Knead for about 10-15 minutes, until everything comes together and it feels like a dough.  It will be a bit sticky.  Add more flour if needed.
  • Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour to 1 hour and 1/2.
  • Transfer your dough to a work surface (it doesn’t have to be floured).
  • Make 8 equal balls, and let rise, covered with plastic wrap, for 1/2 hour.
  • While your dough is resting, make your water bath by combining all water bath ingredients.
  • Heat to a gentle boil.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Make your eggwash – one part beaten egg and one part water.
  • Poke holes in your balls and twirl each ball on your finger until you have a ring.  The holes should be 2 inches across, the bagels should be 4 inches across.
  • Drop as many bagels as will comfortably fit into the boiling water.  The recipe calls for 4 at a time, but I fit two.
  • Cook 2 minutes on one side, flip, and cook another minute.
  • Take them out and transfer to a prepared cookie sheet (greased, or covered in parchment paper).
  • Brush with egg wash and sprinkle liberally with seeds and or garlic on one side.
  • Bake for 20 minutes and remove.
  • Egg wash and sprinkle the other side.
  • Bake for 20 more.
  • Remove to cool completely on a rack.  Air circulation is important so they don’t get soggy.
  • These bagels store well sliced in half in a freezer bag.
  • Toast them directly from the freezer to reheat.
  • Spread with cream cheese or butter and enjoy 🙂

*The key to making these bagels is to not let yourself get intimidated.  It is a lot of work, but it’s easy work, and you don’t have to babysit the dough, you can go do other things while it’s rising.  Yes, if I had regular access to bagels, I might not have been willing to go through all the work, but even if you do, it’s definitely a fun activity for a rainy day, and you get to put exactly what you want on the bagels.  Don’t like the onion or salt they use on an everything bagel?  No problem!  Only want a few sesame seeds?  You got it!

You can also make plain bagels, but I thought I would need the seasoning of the seeds and garlic to cover up my bagels’ inevitable flaws 🙂

I still have a few bagels in my freezer, so I don’t need to make them again just yet, but I will eventually try them again.  Have you ever made bagels?

20141203-093611-34571903.jpg

Wet ingredients.

20141203-093612-34572909.jpg

Dry ingredients.

20141203-093613-34573927.jpg

Bagel dough pre-resting.

20141203-093614-34574759.jpg

Post-resting with plastic wrap still on. It’s huge!

20141203-093615-34575583.jpg

Shrunk back a little when I took the plastic off.

20141203-093652-34612447.jpg

Rings ready to rest. This is where I read the directions wrong… you’re only supposed to make 8 balls and then make them into rings after they’ve rested, not before. I don’t think it made a crucial difference, but I had to re-make some holes after they rested, so, fyi.

20141203-093653-34613477.jpg

See how the holes disappeared?

20141203-093651-34611497.jpg

Water bath.

20141203-093654-34614360.jpg

Going for a swim!

20141203-093655-34615339.jpg

Half-way through baking. I already egg-washed the back side.

20141203-094443-35083503.jpg

The two that didn’t fit on the cookie sheet, half-way done. {Sorry the pictures are sideways… if I flip them wordpress makes them smaller and grainy.}

20141203-094442-35082377.jpg

Finished bagels!

20141203-094441-35081085.jpg

All done!

20141203-093958-34798034.jpg

Delicious straight out of the toaster!

 

Advertisements

Overnight Oats!

Hi everyone!

I jumped on the overnight oats bandwagon last week.  I even bought chia seeds.  It sounds a little crazy, and a little trendy, but they’re absolutely fabulous, and make my mornings a little bit happier.  What is better than throwing ingredients together in a jar before you go to bed, and waking up to oatmeal?  And you can put stuff in it that make it tasty, so it’s not overwhelmingly oaty.  Just make sure your jar is big enough for the oats to expand overnight.

Ingredients:

  • Equal parts oats to yogurt to milk.  I use:
    • 1/3 cup rolled oats
    • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/3 cup milk
  • Fun mix-ins.  I like:
    • 1 tsp Chia seed
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • You can also add:
    • Fruit.  Sliced bananas or apple pieces.
    • Berries if you like them.  Personally I think blueberries go squish, but I know they’re really good for you!
    • Peanut-butter or other nut-butter.  A good helping of protein!
    • Nutella.  It’s just delicious.

Directions:

  • Measure the ingredients into the jar.
  • I layer yogurt then oats then milk, and pile the mix-ins on top.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • In the morning, you can grab and go or enjoy right at home.
  • I like to microwave my oats to warm them up, but don’t microwave them longer than a few seconds, or else your yogurt will separate and it gets cottage cheesy.
  • Give the oats a good stir, and enjoy!

Do you make overnight oats?  What kind of mix-ins do you use?  Do you have a favorite jar?  I used to use tupperware, but I use an old French jelly jar now, because it’s pretty 🙂

20141126-120647-43607423.jpg

20141126-120649-43609168.jpg

20141126-120648-43608315.jpg

20141126-120650-43610034.jpg

20141126-120708-43628007.jpg

20141126-120651-43611020.jpg

 

Oaty Brown Butter Apple Loaf

Happy Tuesday!  Happy for me because I made it through another crazy Monday, and even managed to squeeze in a run at work today.  On Sunday, I put my loaf pan to more good use, but I didn’t have time to write about it.  I made the most delicious brown-butter apple loaf.  It would definitely make a nice addition to any Thanksgiving table, or just because.  I found the original recipe here, and tweaked it a bit to try and make it a tad healthier.  You could probably cut back more on the butter as well.  I tried to, but the metric measurements screwed me up again.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt {I used full-fat}
  • 4 small apples diced {I left the peels on, but if you’re a peel-hater, go ahead and peel them}
  • 3 tbsp concentrado de manzana.  {Not really sure what it is.  It translates to apple concentrate, but I’ve never seen it before in the US.  It’s kind of like an apple jelly, though I’m sure apple butter would work great here as well.}

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare your loaf pan with butter if necessary.
  • Brown your butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Watch it so it doesn’t become burnt butter.
  • Combine the butter in a mixing bowl with brown sugar and eggs.
  • Add flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the Greek yogurt, apple concentrate, and apples.  Stir until combined but don’t overmix.
  • Bake for 1 hour until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 20 minutes before removing from loaf pan and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

This loaf would be perfect with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, but it also holds its own with a cold glass of milk or a nice cup of coffee!!  How do you like your apple loaf?

20141125-211718-76638296.jpg

20141125-211719-76639192.jpg

20141125-211720-76640020.jpg

20141125-211720-76640830.jpg

20141125-211721-76641776.jpg

20141125-211722-76642624.jpg

Sunday Pancakes. The best of all worlds. Butter-free and delicious!

Sunday has become pancake day around here for me.  I love taking the time to relax in the kitchen and make something that’s like a little buttery piece of home before I gear up for another hectic week.  And, as an added bonus, these past few weeks I’ve been in between roommates, so I’ve been able to camp out in the kitchen as much as I like!

This morning, after first running out to get my weekly supply of nun-made bread, I came back to make my current pancake recipe, the perfect combination of elements of two previous favorites; this one by Canadian food network’s Michael Smith that I had written about here, and this one on Chatelaine that I wrote about here.  I tweaked things a bit more… today I left out butter because my Greek yogurt was full-fat, and I added brown sugar and Chia seeds.  Neither original pancake recipe called for any sugar, but I think it’s an important part of the pancake, and it counteracts the taste of the baking powder, plus I have a lot of brown sugar on hand right now.  And since I live on an island, there are no cool dry places to store it and I want to use it up.  Chia seeds just happen to be my new favorite ingredient, since they’re high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants, and you really can’t taste them.

You need more milk than the recipe calls for – without extra milk it comes out too thick and gloopy.  I like to add just enough to make the batter more of a liquid than a sludge, but not so much that it’s watery.  Also, I learned a new trick this morning – with these particular pancakes, it’s helpful to use a bit less batter than you would normally, and pick up the pan and swirl it around to increase the batter surface area.

Also, these were the first pancakes that I made without any butter in the batter or in the pan.  The first few got cooked in the leftover pancetta grease, but after that I took advantage of the non-stick skillet I was using, and I was pleasantly surprised.  They didn’t stick to the pan, and I really couldn’t taste a difference.

What’s your favorite pancake recipe?  These are definitely my new favorite.  They’re perfect for a weekend breakfast, especially for everyone on the other side of the Atlantic waking up and wondering what to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup milk, plus more to thin out the batter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds

Directions:

  • Measure all dry ingredients, except the chia, into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients, and stir until well-incorporated, but don’t over-mix.
  • Add the chia seeds and stir so they’re evenly dispersed.
  • Add milk as needed to thin out the batter.
  • Heat your frying pan over medium heat.
  • Drop 1/4 cup-full amounts into the pan.
  • Pick up the pan and swirl to coat more of the surface.
  • Cook until bubbles appear in the pancakes and flip then cook the other side.

20141123-133625-48985893.jpg

20141123-133648-49008373.jpg

20141123-133623-48983818.jpg

20141123-133624-48984949.jpg

20141123-133626-48986851.jpg

20141123-133628-48988040.jpg

20141123-133646-49006734.jpg

20141123-133647-49007552.jpg

20141123-133649-49009272.jpg

Double-Chocolate Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Filling

If you’ve been reading along with me, you know I’ve been missing out on baking, not just for the lack of my KitchenAid, but also my lack of basic kitchen supplies.  Like wooden spoons and measuring cups.  And mixing bowls.  I still don’t have mixing bowls, and I’m going to have to learn to live without a mixer, but I did break down and buy measuring cups.  Not only did I want to bake, but I missed having any sense of portion control and knowing how much I’m actually eating. I found the best measuring cups today, and absolutely had to have them. They’re Joseph and Joseph, and colorful, and stackable, and BPA free, and I didn’t have to pay Amazon Spain shipping to have them delivered even though I have Amazon Prime in the US, which makes them even better!  And they even include measuring spoons as well, so I’m all set!

After I got the measuring cups, it wasn’t hard to convince myself to get the loaf pan I’ve been eying for the past two weeks.  It’s silicone, so I’m hoping I might actually be able to bring it back home to the States with me eventually.  And having the loaf pan + measuring cups combo means I get to try out all the autumnal loaf breads I’ve been seeing all over the Internet.  Except for pumpkin, because there is no canned pumpkin in Spain.  And I haven’t gotten up the nerve to try making pureed pumpkin from scratch.

But I did find a recipe for double-chocolate banana bread, which is almost as good as pumpkins, if not as autumnal.  You can find the original recipe here, and the recipe I used to help me with the cream cheese filling here.   The original banana bread used all-purpose flour, but I adapted it to include whole wheat flour and rolled oats to make it a little healthier, and then added the cream-cheese filling for fun, which probably negates any whole wheat I added, but is delicious just the same!

The finished bread didn’t photograph as well as I would have liked since it was late and my kitchen isn’t as bright as I would like, but I promise it’s delicious!  It’s easy to make, and perfect with a cold glass of milk!

Ingredients for the bread:

  • 3 bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or melted baking chocolate

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 4 ounces cream-cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Grease your loaf pan
  • Smush your bananas in a mixing bowl
  • Add melted butter, brown sugar, and egg and stir.
  • Mix in flours and oats, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
  • Finally add chocolate and stir well.  Mix until well-combined and thoroughly moist.
  • In a separate bowl, prepare your cream-cheese filling by mixing all ingredients with a fork until you have a smooth consistency.
  • Fill loaf pan with half of the batter.
  • Spread cream-cheese filling evenly across the pan.
  • Add remaining batter over filling, spreading it as evenly as you can.  Try not to disturb the cream-cheese filling.
  • Bake for about an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan and transferring to a wire rack.

20141122-122929-44969958.jpg

20141122-122857-44937083.jpg

20141122-122858-44938243.jpg

20141122-122859-44939334.jpg

20141122-122900-44940329.jpg

20141122-122901-44941220.jpg

20141122-122931-44971735.jpg

20141122-122932-44972802.jpg

20141122-122933-44973702.jpg

20141122-122934-44974558.jpg

20141122-123122-45082044.jpg

20141122-123122-45082812.jpg

20141122-123123-45083850.jpg

20141122-123124-45084756.jpg

20141122-123125-45085593.jpg