The moment I read the caption "Gourmet Seven" at Radhika's blog 2-3 months back, I was intrigued. It seemed like a foodie adventure trip and I was right when I saw the posts that the talented seven bloggers blogged on a pre decided theme every month.
But somehow I couldn't join them earlier. Luckily this month I could step in to fill a vacant spot. So here's my first post as pert of the "Gourmet Seven". Well if you are still wondering what its all about, then let me explain. Every month a group of seven bloggers choose a theme and post a recipe on that theme at the beginning of the month for a week. And this month's theme is none other than English breakfasts. Yes the well famed and highly regraded spread of English delights that find their presence on the breakfast table.
After trying quite a bit of variety in cakes and other sweet treats, it was time to gain some strength in break baking spree. And rightly so, after all there are just so many benefits of baking your own bread, that its high time you join the bandwagon too. Wondering what that is..
- The smell of freshly baked bread is simply divine
- The amount of butter, sugar, chocolate and all things fattening is bare minimum
- A loaf of bread finishes within no time, since you can have it as breakfast, as a side dish or even a mid day snack, unlike cakes and pastries
- Seeing a brown crusted bread is a high that gives you real time confidence booster
BTW that doesn't mean that I'm no longer going to bake a cake with lots of butter and sugar!! Just that I'm discovering new forms of breads to bake. Specially after the success of the garlic bread.
Luckily for me the recipe for these bagels also came from the gourmet seven group member - from Vardhini's blog. I chose this recipe also because it made lesser bagels, and baking in small batches at least in trial version is what I really look for. What I found new in baking bagel was the 'water bath' or cooking the puffed up rolls in simmering water before baking. I'm sure this is one major factor in giving the texture and softness to the bagels.
All purpose flour - 2 cup
Yeast - 1.5 tsp
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Sugar - 1tbsp
Lukewarm water - 3/4 cup
Olive Oil - 1-2 tsp
Toppings - 1 tbsp (Sesame, Nigella, Cumin, etc)
For water bath:
Water - 4 cups
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Milk - 2 tbsp
Water - 1 tbsp
Butter - 1/2 tbsp
- Mix all ingredients of bagel (except oil and toppings) and with the help of dough mixer or hand, form a smooth and pliable dough.
- Pat it with oil and cover and keep it warm place to double up, about 45-60 mins.
- Now punch it down and knead lightly for few seconds. And with lightly greased palms, pinch 8 balls from the dough
- Keep the balls in a plate and cover it loosely again for 20 mins, to puff up again..
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C. Line the baking tray with parchment and keep the water and sugar for boiling. Once it boils, put it on simmer.
- Now take the balls and make a hole in the centre of it with the help of your finger, like a doughnut (refer Vardhini's step-by-step pics) and place them in the simmering water - 4 at a time.
- Let the bagels cook for about 90 seconds, flipping in between. Take them out and place on the lined parchment, well spread out.
- Warm milk, water and butter and use it to brush the bagels. Top it with desired toppings and bake for 20 mins or till the bagels are nicely browned on top.
Enjoy warm home made bagels the way you like it. Most commonly bagels and cream cheese are the ideal combination. But I enjoyed eating them with herbed butter and grated parmesan and also scrambled eggs. So make your own gourmet combination to enjoy an English breakfast.
Check out what other gourmet seven members are cooking. Anusha, Kaveri, Radhika, Sangee, Vardhini and Veena.