While the snow and ice was on the ground I was in baking (and regrettably eating) mode, and thought I'd have a go at baking bagels. I'm pleased with them, thought the crust was a little tough but they tasted good. I'm not sure that I would make them regularly as they have to be poached before baking and we don't eat a very large number of them but it kept me busy on a snowy afternoon!
2 tsp dried yeast (or15g/½ oz fresh yeast)
1½ tbsp granulated sugar
300ml (½ pint) water
500 g (1 lb) strong white flour,
plus extra for kneading
1 ½ tsp salt
1 Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into 100ml (3½ fl oz) of the water in
a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt
together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in
the yeasted water.
2 Pour the remaining water, holding back about half, into the well. Mix in the flour. Stir in the reserved water, as needed, to form a firm, moist dough.
3 Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. As you knead
the dough, gradually work in as much additional flour as you can
comfortably knead - this dough should be very stiff and firm.
4 Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat, and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Knock back the dough, then leave to rest for 10 minutes.
5. Cut the dough into eight equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece
into a ball. Form each ball into a ring by inserting a floured
finger into the centre of each one.
6 Work the finger in a circle to stretch and widen the hole.
Then twirl the ring around the index finger of one hand and the thumb
of the other hand until the hole is about a third of the bagel's diameter.
7 Place the bagels on a lightly oiled baking sheet, then cover
with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
8 Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then reduce the heat
to allow the water to simmer. Use a perforated skimmer to carefully lower
the bagels into the water in batches of two or three at a time. Simmer for one minute.
9 Transfer the drained bagels to a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven 220c/425f/gas7 for
20 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
From Bread, Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno
I also finished the quilt for our newest granddaughter, she was born three weeks early and I like to kid myself that it would have been finished in time had we not had to rush off unexpectedly!