Today is a good day! It’s a good day because it’s Friday… which means there’s a fiesta to attend at the Novice Gardener’s! I’ve missed many of these weekly parties lately. Too many. It was by “choice” I didn’t attend. Quite simply, I didn’t have a post to share those missed weeks. At least one I was proud of… that I felt “worthy” of Angie and the Fiesta Friday group.
This week, it’s a different story here at feasting with friends. Not only do I have a post, it happens to be one I’m proud of! Sure, it took two tries… but I nailed it! Bagels, that is… cinnamon raisin bagels to be exact.
You may be thinking, bagels? Really? Nancy is excited about bagels? YES! I’m excited about bagels. :)) Foods will do that to me when they turn from one of the most frustrating things I’ve attempted to one of the better things I’ve made.
Let me explain… I’m busy in the kitchen on a daily basis. Outside of preparing meals for the family and guests, I try to bake (bread, cookies or cakes) at least weekly. When one cooks on a regular basis, there are bound to be mishaps a many in the kitchen.
I’m not talking about spilled milk or, for that matter, burnt toast.
I’m talking about failed dishes, crumbly cakes, overcooked meat, soupy puddings and… in this case… flat bagels! Not the ones I’m sharing today… the ones I made in Round #1 of my bagel experiment.
My failures in the kitchen can be blamed on many things: error in execution, recipes misprints, oven/burner temperature differences, even humidity and air temperature. For Round#1 the error was I didn’t trust my gut… I questioned my knowledge of working with yeast. I followed directions that didn’t make sense to me and ended up with flat bagels.
The men in the house were mighty disappointed. Their frowns wore me down. I made the bagels again less than 48 hours later. What I wouldn’t do to see their smiles!
The Round #2 bagels turned our fabulous… tasted just as good as the best bagel shop variety. Texturally, they were spot on. Nicely browned and crispy exterior… soft and chewy interior. Warm out of the oven they were OMG delicious. Yet, with a nice, light toasting the next day, they tasted just as good.
So, you see, after the first blah batch, I’m practically doing back flips over the second. I’m proud of myself and I’m taking these to Fiesta Friday #51 to share with the group. Angie of the Novice Gardener will be overseeing the fiesta with a little help from her co-hosts Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook and Juju @cookingwithauntjuju…. I offer HUGE thanks to all three ladies!
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
1½ cups warm water (about 110°F)
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1 cup raisin (with approximately 1 cup boiling water to soak)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon canola oil
4 cups bread flour (approximate…see note in step 4)
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
For the water bath:
6 quarts water
2 Tablespoon brown sugar, packed
Prior to baking:
1 large egg white, beaten
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1½ cups of warm water, yeast and 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar. Whisk lightly until combined. Allow to stand about 10 minutes, until mixture blooms (becomes foamy).
- While the yeast is blooming… Place raisins in a small bowl, pour just enough boiling water over raisins to cover completely. Allow to stand 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry lightly with paper towels. Set aside.
- Back to the mixing bowl… Add 1½ cups of the bread flour, raisins, the 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar, honey, canola oil and kosher salt. Using the dough hook, mix until ingredients are well combined (it will be a “soupy” mixture).
- Gradually add flour (in 1/2 cup increments) with cinnamon (2 teaspoon increments) until a firm, and slightly tacky ball of dough forms. Note: I used exactly 4 cups of bread flour, you may use more or less due to many factors, including temperature or humidity in your kitchen.
- Machine knead for 10-12 minutes. Remove dough from bowl, oil bowl lightly with canola oil or cooking spray. Return dough to bowl and cover with a clean towel. Place bowl in a draft free area (I like to use a cold oven) for about 45 minutes to allow dough to rest and rise. The dough ball will increase in size by about 1/3 to 1/2 original size and will appear less dense.
- Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Divide the dough in 10 portions (balls). I used a kitchen scale and created 10, 4.3 ounce balls. Gently knead/form each portion into a ball with your hands, flatten slightly and use your thumbs to create a hole in the center (Note: Mine were about 4-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick). Place on prepared baking sheet(s), cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest/rise about 30 minutes in a draft free area.
- When your 30 minute rest time is almost up, it’s time to get the water bath started and oven ready. In a large pot, heat the 6 quarts of water with the last 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar to boiling. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
- Once the water is boiling, add 2 bagels. Boil for 45 seconds. With a slotted spoon, flip bagels over and boil for 45 additional seconds. Remove bagels to clean towel to dry slightly, then return to parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until all of the bagels have taken their 1½ minute dip in the water bath. Note: Bagels will expand in size in this water bath step. You can see a before and after water bath photo at the bottom of the post.
- Lightly beat the egg white in a small bowl or measuring cup. Using a pastry brush, “paint” the top of each bagel with the egg white.
- Place the bagels in the oven (one rack/tray in upper third of oven and one in lower third) and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 425°F. Bake for about 15 minutes, then swap baking tray locations in oven. Bake until golden brown and firm 7-12 minutes longer.
- Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Enjoy when cool enough to touch!
- Bagels freeze well. My preferred method is to slice the bagel in half and store each bagel in it’s own freezer bag. To eat, simply place pre-sliced, frozen bagel in toaster (set to bagel setting if yours has one), toast to lightly crisped perfection and enjoy.