You missed the first time I made these bagels, because I had not started this blog at that point. But let me tell you – they were amazing. Obviously, since we had a repeat performance yesterday, in celebration of Independence Day.
Actually, we just used Independence Day as a vehicle for the bagels, because they take two days to make, and we needed the time. Holidays are helpful like that.
First of all, we used Peter Reinhart’s bagel recipe, which I found on Smitten Kitchen. I don’t believe Mr. Reinhart blogs. Or, rather, he hasn’t since September 2011. Perhaps he should take that up again.
Secondly, when I say “we”, I’m actually not using it in the royal sense, as I usually do, but in the literal sense. I worked through this intense cooking project with my amazing brother, who also happens to be named Peter. Apropos, don’t you think? 😉
There does not appear to be a “cheat method” for bagels. You know how people have started cheating with donuts and using special pans and baking them? Can we think, just for a moment, about what that really is? Is that even still a donut? I don’t think so. Anyhow, that’s not what has happened to bagels, probably because there’s nothing wrong with boiled and baked dough. Nothing unhealthy there. And, as they say down here in the South, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
However, the recipe is still pretty involved. There is a point where you knead the dough (which is very stiff) for 10 minutes without stopping. That’s where my brother and his biceps come in. I can assure you that I would not be making bagels on my own. Ever.
So grab a strong man and get your bagel on. Start the evening before you want to eat them (we started at 5:00pm on Wednesday evening and were eating hot bagels, fresh from the oven, at 10:30am on Thursday morning). The first part, on the first day, takes us about 4 hours. Plan accordingly.
Joshua says: 10 out of 10. And so would Peter, if anyone had asked him. And my other brothers-in-law, Gregory & Isaac, who also got to partake. And my sister, Mary. Basically, everyone was raving through stuffed mouths of bready goodness. It was gratifying.