I’m normally a ‘sweet’ baker. My husband likes to tease me that if I ever went on ‘The Great British Bake Off’ I would only bake cupcakes. For the bread week I would bake cupcake bread, for biscuit week cupcake biscuits and so on… Well, I was out to prove him wrong!
I have a subscription to Olive magazine (courtesy of Mr Tesco and his clubcard points). I’m not normally a big fan of their recipes as they normally involve lots of ingredients we never have. However, my eye was caught by a step-by-step bagel recipe in the February 2013 edition. Sadly I can’t find the recipe online however there is a very similar one here…http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1088/bagels-for-brunch
One of the things that persuaded me to try it was that other than yeast all the ingredients needed were in our cupboard. They’re pretty simple: olive oil, strong white bread flour, yeast, salt, warm water, golden caster sugar and light muscovado sugar.
The steps are pretty simple – you make a dough and then can either leave it to prove for a couple of hours in an oiled bowl in the warm or overnight in a fridge. I opted for the fridge option. This is what my dough looked like before it went in the fridge (I never realised kneading dough was such a workout!)
The following morning I was excited to find it hand indeed increased in size (hurray – I’m not a total failure!) I then had to separate it into 10 lumps which then needed shaping into balls…
The next bit is a little crazy – you have to boil them in a large pan of water which has bicarbonate of soda in it (it fizzes like mad!) for about a minute. They then go on an oiled baking sheet with an egg glaze and a sprinkling of your desired topping (I went for poppy and sesame seeds).
After about 15-18 minutes they should be golden brown and crispy.
I was pretty impressed with how they tasted and the texture. If I make them again I would try to make the holes bigger – the recipe suggests 3cm but it’s tricky to get them to stay that size without it pinging back!
It’s definitely made me think that I should give bread and savoury baking more of a try. In fact there’s a recipe for potato and rosemary bread in this months Olive magazine that I’m already eyeing up!
Until my next baking adventure…