Sunday, September 19, 2010

Do NOT try this

Seriously. I am warning you. Just don’t do it. The results are horrible.

So do not collect together

4 to 5 cups of all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast (4-1/2 teaspoons if using bulk)
1-1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Another 1 tablespoon sugar

And by all means, don’t put the yeast in about 2 cups of the flour. Don’t mix the 3 tablespoons sugar and the salt into the warm water, for heaven’s sake don’t add it to the flour / yeast combo and stir until it’s all mixed up and slurry-ish. Then don’t mix in as much more flour as you can manage with a spoon, then turn it out and knead it on a lightly floured surface and keep adding a little flour at a time as you knead forever, or until you’ve got a smooth, elastic ball.

Then don’t cover it and let it rest for ten minutes.

Then don’t cut it into twelve portions, shape each portion into a nice, smooth ball, poke a hole in the middle of each one and pull it out smoothly (neatness counts!) until you’ve got a roughly 2” hole in the middle of it.

Don’t set those on a greased cookie sheet and let them rest, covered, for another twenty minutes – firing up your broiler at about the fifteen minute mark and starting a gallon of water in your widest pot boiling with that 1 tablespoon of sugar remaining.

After twenty minutes, don’t broil them 5” from the heat for about 3 minutes, turning once. (They shouldn’t brown at this point, they’re just getting an initial crust going.)

Don’t turn the oven down to 350 at this point.

Then don’t drop them into that pot of boiling sugar-laced water for about seven minutes, turning once. (But if you do, don’t crowd them in there – you’ll have to do only four or so at a time.) (Yeah, it gets tedious. It’s like, really? Because I’d rather do all twelve at once and BE DONE NOW, but if you try you’ll end up with a blog of melded togetherness that will never look quite right after you’ve pried them apart from each other.)

Don’t take them out and let them drain for a second on paper towels or a cookie rack. (I prefer the cookie rack because it doesn’t involve throwing away a paper towel, and also because I don’t mind having to mop up the countertop under the rack afterward. Eh, it’s seen worse…)

Then whatever you do, don’t put them back into the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Because this is what happens:

{BIG EMPTY SPOT OF NOTHINGNESS WHERE IT REALLY FEELS LIKE THERE OUGHT TO BE A PICTURE}

See? That blank space right there? That’s where a picture of twelve bagels should be. Only there isn’t one, you know why?

Gone in under sixty seconds.

Mind you, the facts that a) there are six of us loafing around on a Sunday, and b) that they came out of the oven right at lunch time, and that c) oh.my.gahd., they are nothing, NO NOTHING like what comes out of a plastic bag from the supermarket, probably didn’t help their longevity much.

All sarcasm aside – wow, were these good. And, all fiddly “broil then boil then bake” stuff aside, easy. Simple ingredients, simple steps, and the end result was astounding. Crispy-chewy-salty crust, dense, and remarkably flavorful for something made of only five “in every cupboard in the world” ingredients.

But don’t do it.

I suspect they’re highly addictive.

Like meth.

Only without that whole “getting arrested and spending the rest of your life in jail” part.

2 comments:

Theresa said...

I have this same problem with bagels, only they may take up to an hour to disappear at our house since there are only two of us tall enough to reach the counter. I've never seen a recipe that has you broil them first, though this would help them be less deformed. That said, if you want to eliminate a step you can go strait from rising to boiling. I also refuse to use paper towels and just give them a good shake when I pull them out and then toss them right onto the cookie sheet and into the oven. They turn out all right and are super tasty. Thanks for posting the recipe and the reminder of how tasty homemade bagels are.

Louiz said...

Himself made bagels a few weeks ago. Gone, as you said, immediately. And there were only two of us and 10 bagels.

Yummy yummy... all gone:)