Bagels – Love and Olive Oil July Cooking Challenge

20130721-181411.jpgFor several months I have been dying to participate in the Love and Olive Oil cooking challenges. In fact I did participate in the macaroon challenge and then failed miserably getting a post put together for it. So this month I refused to fail!

And I feel like I might have cheated a little bit. When I saw that the challenge this month was bagels I figured I had it in the bag. I’ve been making soft pretzels for my Movie On The Barn parties for about two or three years now. And aren’t bagels really just pretzels without the twist?

Here’s how I cheated: I used a bread machine.

For the first hour and 30 minutes I say back and played Candy Crush Saga while my bread machine did all the work. And then I went to lunch. That’s right, I had a nice leisurely lunch before returning to the house to finish up the bagels.

The dough was gorgeous. It turned out perfect… silky, perfectly risen… My bagels were goi to be perfect. I was going to ROCK this challenge.


Cute little bagels… almost without holes.

And the shaping went fairly well. However, when the instructions say to make a two-inch hole in the middle, they mean a two inch hole. My bagel holes were one inch, maybe. When they rose and then broiled to set my holes all but disappeared.

And then came the step that makes bagels be bagels…. The simmering. To get that gorgeous crispy texture on the outside, you simmer your set bagels in water for 7 minutes turning once. And then the directions tell you to remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. The instructions also note that the bagels might deflate slightly when you do this step but that they should puff back up when they’re baked.

I will give you one very valuable tip: Resist the urge to shake the spoon when removing them from the simmering water.


Bagels – flatted by spoon shaking. RESIST THE TEMPTATION!

Shaking the spoon will not only deflate your bagels but they will be irreparably flattened.

I figured a little egg wash would make them be pretty enough to pass. Sadly, I think it’s possible the dogs might get those…

Anyway, bagel experiment was largely successful. I learned a few important lessons and I’m excited to try it again soon! Any suggestions on what flavored I should try??




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