Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Bagels


Won't you feel clever for making BAGELS? There are only a few differences between the dough for bread or bagels, and one extra step. If you make several dozen at a time, you can freeze them. This recipe will yield two dozen bagels and four large breads.
Start in a large bowl with two cups hot water and six cups cold water. That should be just warm enough to not burn on the back of your wrist. To this, add one tablespoon baking yeast and two tablespoons sugar.

Let it sit about five minutes before adding in eight cups of unbleached white flour, (I like the kind with the wheatgerm added back in). Beat it one hundred times, to develop the gluten. If you would like a dense bagel, more akin to a bagel shop's, you can add in some gluten flour at this point, or gluten powder. This raises the protein content and will help make a denser bagel consistency, but is not necessary for a delicious bagel. Let this sponge rise for twenty minutes.

 
Add in another four cups of white flour, a half cup of oil and two teaspoons of salt. Use a spoon as long as you are able to, and then switch to your hands.

Have standing by enough whole wheat flour to use to clean off the spoon and your hands (it is quicker and more effective than water at this point).

Add in four cups of the whole wheat flour to begin the kneading process. As soon as the dough ball is not too sticky, you can place it on the counter to really knead it well, turning and pushing away the dough ball until it is elastic and not too sticky any more. This should take at the most ten minutes, though I am sure I have done it in half that time with fine results. You may need to add up to another cup of flour, white or whole wheat, at this point. The denser the dough, the more bagel-like it will be. This is not too necessary, if you don't mind a more bread-like bagel with more holes in it.

Let the dough rise for an hour and a half.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Begin boiling water in a large pot, the wider the better. Add either two teaspoons of baking soda, salt or sugar to the water. I have seen all three cited as necessary: try different ways to boil the bagels and see which you prefer. This time, I used the baking soda.
Using a postal scale, if you have one, or dividing the dough into small balls less than two inches in diameter all around (which is about the length of your thumb), make twenty-four balls and set them aside on oiled cookie sheets. You will need four cookie sheets for this recipe, as well as four bread pans—or divide the recipe in half.

After you have made the twenty-four balls, poke your thumb through the center of each of these balls and widen the hole to about one inch wide. Let these circles rise for twenty minutes. Divide the rest of the dough into four parts, form the parts into loaves, and let them rise in the four oiled pans until after the bagels are done.
Four at a time, slide the bagels into the boiling water. They will drop down and then rise, and will double in size. Let them boil for one to two minutes on each side, turning them in between. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer them to the oiled cookie sheets. You can sprinkle them with seeds, chopped garlic or onions, or kosher rock salt while they are still wet.

When they are all done, slide the cookie sheets into the oven and bake them for fifteen minutes. Turn the pans and move them from top to bottom shelf, rearranging them, and then bake for another five or ten minutes, until they seem done and not too dark on the bottoms. Lower the heat on the stove to 350 degrees. Let the bagels cool in a bowl while you bake the four bread loaves for one hour. Take the loaves out of the pans right away and cool them on a rack.
I don't know about you, but I like making my own bread and soymilk and avoiding trips to the store for some basic products. Plus, it makes the house smell good.

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