Bagels: They weren’t so difficult!

I MADE BAGELS! I cannot believe that I actually made bagels! I was a little scared by the recipe. All those steps! I found myself reading, highlighting, and marking the recipe in parts, chapters, sections, and steps. And there were a lot of them! I wondered how I would handle the stretching the dough into ring toss sizes (BTW: The ring toss example was terrific!) The thought of at ‘water bath’ scared me. So I put it off until the last possible day. On the day I made the bagels I thought that I would only make the first batch. I was confident that they would not turn out well. Maybe too tough, maybe to doughy. So that was the agreement was, I would just do five bagels. And probably poorly.

As I started I found that the pulling and pinching up the dough wasn’t so bad, but I did check my index fingernail many times to be certain that it was clean for the plunge and wiggle step. (I am fastidious about clean hands and in baking, they cannot be clean enough!) So once I felt sanitized, I then plunged, wiggled and stretched. They looked beautiful!  Then I let one slide into the water bath and it sunk (just as the recipe said it would) and then came up to float.

I was encouraged.

So I dropped a few more and began to feel really confident and steadily worked at the water bath. I chose a simple kosher salt topping and then transferred the bagels to the steam bath in the oven. Slight mistake here, but not fatal. I put the bagels in AFTER the ice cubes. Yeah, I know it was illogical. Then closed the oven door, turned the temp down and hoped for the best. I could see they were browning nicely and looking like a real bagel.

I pulled the first batch out of the oven I thought, “What the heck was I so worried about?” Batch 1 came out pretty well.

Bagel Batch 1

Batch 1: Bagels plain with a little kosher salt

Feeling confident, I broke my agreement with myself and went for batch 2! This time, I experimented with the topping and added more salt and caraway seeds. Only one mistake from bath to cooling rack: I forgot to lower the oven temp after closing that oven door – but remembered within 5 minutes of baking – it didn’t matter because these, too, turned out well. (WHO KNEW I COULD DO THIS?????) They came out looking pretty good as well.

Bagel Batch 2: Caraway seeds and kosher salt topping

Bagel Batch 2: Caraway seeds and kosher salt topping

For dinner I decided to have a bagel sandwich. I took a bagel from Batch 2. I spread a thin coating of  mustard, added arugula, sliced apples and brie. Broiled until almost melted and took the picture. Then sat down to watch Dancing with the Stars. I ate that sandwich like it had been made at the local deli.

Homemade bagel sandwich with mustard, arugula, apples and brie

Homemade bagel sandwich with mustard, arugula, apples and brie

I was so proud of myself! I just had to have a couple pats on the back for taking this recipe on. So, when my husband came home late from work (he’s a reference librarian and works until closing one night a week), I left the bagels out with instructions that he had to have one.

He complied.

Then I bugged him for the next hour to tell me how wonderful they were.

He complied.

As soon as we got up the next morning the first thing I asked him was, “Are you going to tell everyone at work today that I made great bagels?”

He said, “Yes.”  But the look on his face said, “Absolutely not.”

Sigh.

Never mind if the world knows – I know that I BAKED BAGELS!

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Cute story! Your bagels look beautiful and that sandwich sounds delish. I am a sucker for anything topped with brie!

    Reply

  2. I am thrilled with you! It is an accomplishment and yours look awesome.

    Reply

  3. Yay! They look great. You should be very proud of yourself!

    Reply

    • Hello!

      Thanks for visiting lousiawalter! I read your blog and was grateful for the tip on over-boiling. I left them in a little longer – using the recipe recommendations and they turned out great, but I think the next time, I will take your advice and boil a little less!

      Enjoy the fall. It’s beautiful in New England!

      Sincerely, Kristine Mika

      ________________________________

      Reply

  4. Yay! I baked bagels too! And, honestly, I was just as terrified! 🙂 I did the same thing to: I said I would make the first batch and not make any more because I’d probably screw them up. And now I’m happy it all worked out! Your bagels are lovely, and so adventurous! I’ll have to do some toppings on mine next time.

    Reply

    • Thanks for visiting! I looked at yours and they looked terrific. It’s nice when once you see that it is all just a bunch of steps that are easy and require time. But, as you said, you don’t think of anything else and that’s why I would choose to make them again. Just read a blog where the baker used jalapeno and cheddar! Now that sounds good! Kristine Mika (louisawalter)

      Reply

  5. Great job! They look perfect. Your apple and brie sandwich sounds fabulous!

    Reply

    • Hi!

      Thanks for visiting my blog (louisawalter). I was really surprised at how easy they were to make, but also how much I enjoyed making them!

      I saw that you had added jalapeno and cheddar cheese to yours! Now that sounds like a wonderful combination! I will keep that as a possibility for the next time.

      Enjoy the fall!

      Sincerely, Kristine Mika

      ________________________________

      Reply

  6. Love your toppings of arugula, sliced apples and brie. Your bagels looks great. Our recipe is still a work in progress, a little too crunchy for our taste.

    Reply

  7. Woo hoo! you baked bagels! I love the varied toppings. I went the slightly boring route and coated all of mine with sesame seeds.

    Reply

  8. Wow, that’s what I call ” a sandwich”! It’s huge with all that delicious filling!
    Congratulations on your successful bagels!

    Reply

    • Hi!

      Thanks for visiting louisawalter site! I have to admit that the sandwich looked bigger than it was. I did slice the cheese and the apples pretty thin. It was my bagels that turned out huge!

      I’m going to take a look at your site now! Hope your experience was a good one!

      Kristine Mika (louisawalter)

      ________________________________

      Reply

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