Shaking & baking


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I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately, probably ever since I made that chicken pot pie crust from scratch, which was itself a way to use up a roast chicken without making my thousandth batch of chicken soup.

Bagels
I followed this recipe in the pictures below, but I’ve since tweaked it to have a little more oil and yeast (depends what kind of yeast you’re using, really). Anyway, they’re looking much better than the rough cut you see here. If your yeast isn’t puffing up the dough enough, flatten them before they set too much. That way at least you’ll have thin bagels you can smear something on.

The important thing is to really merge the two ends when you make your ring, or they’ll pop right off in the water. A little pinch and a twist should do it. The sooner you do this, the better, as the longer the yeast rises, the more it loses interest in reforming. When everything’s shaped and risen, it goes into the pot of boiling water!

Just a minute’ll do, then flip.

This batch got used for egg & cheese sandwiches, but the later generations were thick-bodied enough I could slice and butter them by their lonesome. They’re pretty much going to come out of the oven looking like what you put in. These are before they baked:

And these are after:

Next I made some English muffins:

Dough’s pretty easy. You’ll want corn meal to bake these, but you’ll also want corn meal because it’s delicious. You can find some pretty varying recipes. I used one that didn’t call for shortening. While my bagels could be topped by most any decent Brooklyn bakery, these English muffins beat your tastebuds with a mace called joy.

Dough gets prepped, then dusted with corn meal

Cakes on the griddle

They finish up in the oven

And once I had corn meal, how could I not try Italian bread?

It’s only the fresh, piping hot, most delicious stuff ever. No harder to make than any of this stuff. I used this recipe.

Not much to add, except: Yum.

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