Saturday, March 18, 2006


Non so se i miei lettori italiani sanno cosa sono i Bagels.. io li ho scoperti qui negli States, e mi sono piaciuti, e quando ho saputo che per farli bisogna prima bollirli e poi cuocerli nel forno, ho deciso che era troppo interessante e dovevo provare. Cosi', ecco il mio breve resoconto.

Bagels are a typical Jewish bread. I tried them for the first time in my life when I arrived in Florida 2 years ago, and was hosted for the fist Saturday and Sunday at my boss's home. He and his wife are originally Jewish, and their Sunday lunch is based on bagels, with nice cream cheese, smoked salmon and other good things to eat with.

Recently I found out that to make them, you need to boil the dough before baking it. So, I was really curious, and I decided to try. I found the Original Recipe on a wesite for Jewish food. Please go and read it, because it's written in a very humorous way. The person who posted the recipe claims that it is the 'Real Honest Jewish Purist's bagel', and explains how to make it the right way, instead of using the tools and the ingredients that will 'contaminate' the final bagels and make them clearly 'Protestant' instead of Jewish!! :)

So, I tried, and here are the various steps, with the doses that I used :
1) Make the dough: warm up 1 1/2 cups of water, dissolve 2 tablespoons of yeast and some sugar, wait for it to be activated, add 2 tbsp salt, 3 cups of flour, mix with your hands, then work the dough until it has a soft elastic consistency. Cover and let stand in a bowl until it doubles its volume. I think this should take about 30 min, I probably waited too much, since in the end my bagels were more bready than they should have been.

2) Then, divide the dough into 8 pieces, make them like little balls, and punch a hole in the center with your thumb. These were my bagels at this stage:
3) Let them rest for about ten minutes, and in the meanwhile bring a big pot a water to boil. Add some sugar or syrup into the water. Boil the bagels a few at a time. I found out that they expand a lot when they are in the boiling water!
Supposedly, they should first sink and then begin to float after a while, but mine were floating to begin with, which is a sign that they were more 'bready' than 'bagely'. :) Boil them for three minutes on one side, then flip them and boil them for another three minutes. Place them on a clean towel.

4) At this point, if you want, you can add the spices. To do that, you need to make a wash with 3 tbsps ice cold water and 1 egg white, then brush it on the bagels, and then stick the spices to the bagels' surface. Remember: according to the real recipe, you are not allowed to put anything sweet on bagels! So, I made two with just kasher salt, two with garlic powder, two with paprika and two with sesame.
Let the bagels rest for a few minutes on the towel, so they lose the excess of water that they may have. At this stage, they have a wonderfully soft consistency that I really loved to touch. :)

5) You will have preheated the oven at 400 F. Bake the bagels for 25 minutes, then flip them and bake them for another ten minutes. The recipe suggests to put some cornmeal on the baking sheets, but I don't think it's such a good idea.. the cornmeal burns and doesn't do much good. Also, some of the spices (like garlic powder) tend to burn, so you may want to pay attention to it..
These were my bagels:
We didn't have cream cheese and we were too hungry to go buy it, so we had them with a spread made of tuna, mayonnaise and pickles. :) And one with a scrambled egg for Lucas.. :) They were very good! I think next time I'll use less yeast, so they will rise less, and I'll put more salt in the dough. Anyway, I really enjoyed making them, so I think I'll definitely try again. :)


Mr Duffy said...

mmm, fanno proprio venire l'acquolina in bocca! :-))

chemcookit said...

eheh :)
Sono molto contenta di questo effetto. :)
Sono molto facili da fare, se vuoi provare... al massimo ti succede come a me, e vengono piu' leggeri e 'panosi' di quanto dovrebbero, ma comunque molto buoni. :)

Come va la vita a Torino dopo le olimpiadi? Ho sentito di gente molto nostalgica.. :)

Mr Duffy said...

non ho molta pazienza in cucina, ultimamente :)

La città ha certamente beneficiato delle olimpiadi, intere zone sembrano rinate ed è bello anche solo fare una passeggiata. Speriamo che duri almeno un po' :D