I’m so excited, guys. I completed January’s baking challenge for http://www.sallysbakingaddiction.com. A few posts ago, I mentioned that Sally does monthly challenges to help bakers learn how to bake new things and pushes us out of our comfort zones.
This month’s challenge is bagels. Which means bread and yeast. Yeast can be really intimidating, and bagels? Woof. Who the heck knows how to make those at home?! Definitely not me. However, the allure of Sally’s challenges is that she provides step-by-step instructions, as well as videos and pictures, to show us how our bake should look at each stage.
For my first batch, I made plain bagel dough. I dipped a few of them in everything topping, a few in poppy seed, and a few I just left plain. I don’t think they turned out too bad for my first try, but the process was unlike any bread product I’ve made before.
First, you make the dough and let it rise. So far so good. After it has doubled in size, then you cut the dough into 8 pieces and form a hole in the middle of each piece. You then boil each bagel, dip it in your choice of toppings, then bake. Boil the dough?! Yeah, alright.
Now, boiling dough is probably one of the stranger things I’ve done when baking. I looked up why you do this. Apparently boiling the dough before baking gives the bagel a thin, elastic crust that will allow the dough to continue to rise in the oven and gives it a softer texture. The longer the boil, the thicker the crust, which gives the bagel a denser texture. No thanks.
The whole process took about 3 hours total and was a lot of fun! For the second batch, I made cinnamon raisin bagels. Ermehgerd they were delicious! Now, since I’m trying to convert my diet to low carb/keto, bagels are off the menu. However, I’m going to continue to do Sally’s challenges each month, keto or not, in order to keep learning new things. I hope my family and co-workers are up for monthly baked goods!