This month’s co-hosts for the Daring Bakers challenge are none other than Jenny of All Things Edible and Freya of Writing at the Kitchen Table. To switch things up a little they chose Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels as the recipe with which to torture, er, challenge us with. It was a departure from all things sweet, far away from the land of searing hot caramel and I for one was looking forward to the change. I’ve made bagels once before and they were a success so I was fairly confident that I could master this challenge. I’m rather delusional that way; one success makes me an expert and one failure makes me the worst baker in the world. I’m not even going to try to pretend that makes sense.
In any case, my lack of logic means that I threw the dough together and then decided that instead of waiting for it to rise and continuing on with the recipe, I would go play tennis. Perhaps you’re thinking that sounds like a great idea since there’s no point sitting around, twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the dough to rise as that could take forever. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong. Some dough takes a long time to rise but not this one and not when it’s 30 degrees and humid. Given that heat, I was crazy to leave my dough alone for hours on end and even crazier to think I could play tennis in that heat. By the time I returned, (completely exhausted, but still the reigning tennis champion) my dough was threatening to push the roof off my house. I cautiously deflated it and watched as it slowly shrunk back down to a somewhat manageable size. The recipe stated that it made 15 bagels but I could tell from the start that my monster dough was going to make more. I shrugged and started into the bagel shaping. The last time I made bagels I used the method that requires you to roll the dough into a snake and then pinch the ends together to make your ring. As soon as those bagels hit the simmering water, they separated into horseshoes. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. This time around I rolled my dough into balls and poked a hole in the middle. I have no idea why I ever tried it the other way, this was a much better approach.
As per the challenge rules set out by Jenny and Freya, I was not allowed to alter the inside of the bagels whatsoever. Outer toppings were permitted but that was it. I dutifully followed the rules and topped some of my bagels with sesame seeds and some of them with fleur de sel and then popped them into the oven. The problem I had is that my oven is not overly big and all of those monster bagels wouldn’t fit at once. Given the heat situation, I didn’t want the bagels to sit on the counter and quadruple in size so I improvised with one of my favourite contraptions… the bbq. That’s right folks, I bbq’d the bagels. Those lovely lines you see on my bagels are grill marks and they’re awesome! My bbq bagels took a little longer to “bake” but the end result was a slightly smoky exterior with a plain bagel interior. But those grill marks, oh the grills marks! They’re worth the price of admission alone.
You’ll also notice the sleek and sexy dome that some of my bagels are hiding under. It was purchased this past week while shopping with Ivonne of Cream Puffs in