Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bagel Bread

What with boiling, cornmeal, shaping, and egg wash, baking bagels is a fairly labor intensive process. It's definitely worth the trouble if you feel like going through all the steps, but if you're a bit shorter on time and energy, it's possible to get good bread using bagel dough.

Basic Bagel Recipe:
3 cups all purpose flour
1.5 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 packet dry active yeast
1 cup hot water (120 degrees) plus about an ounce to adjust the consistency
1 egg white mixed with a little water (optional)
sesame seeds (optional)

1. Mix the dry ingredients--including yeast--in a large bowl; whisk to make sure everything is distributed evenly.
2. In a measuring cup, place the maple syrup and oil. Pour in the hot water and stick a candy thermometer in, just to make sure the temp is where it needs to be. When the temp reaches 120, begin adding the liquid to the flour mixture and start mixing. I cheat and take advantage of Davros' dough hook, thus eliminating all the kneading and mixing.
Note: Bagel dough is sticky by nature, so don't panic if it seems stickier than normal bread dough.
3. When the dough is completely mixed, shape it into a ball and put it in an oiled bowl to rise. Make sure to cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dishcloth. Let it sit for about an hour before you punch it down.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and punch down the dough. Shape it according to the dimensions of your bread pan, which you'll want to grease lightly with either cooking spray or a little bit of vegetable oil (not too much...). Put the dough in the pan and cover with the plastic wrap so it can rest for about 15 minutes or so.
5. Mix the egg white with water and use it to paint the top of the loaf, then sprinkle with sesame seeds (or whatever you happen to prefer).
6. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, then let it cool in the pan before you turn it out.


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