Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mommy, Let's Make Bagels!

I love when the first thing my son says in the morning is, "Mommy, what are we cooking today?" He takes for granted that we connect and have fun when we cook together. He also takes complete pleasure in the final product. When his grandmother came over the day after we baked these bagels, he proudly brought her one in a bag, stating, "I am a great chef, Grandma!"

I originally discovered this bagel recipe here at the Smitten Kitchen website. I had made bagels before but they really just tasted like bread in a roll, rather than the H and H bagels that we eat by the dozen on trips to New York City. I loved the Smitten version so much that I went out and bought the book with the original recipe: Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. It was clear that the difference was 4 fold: First, these require bread flour and malt syrup. The good news-both are available at the larger Whole Food's markets. Next, they require an overnight rest. For parents, this is actually fantastic. Raphael and I can make them the night before and in the morning, I just boil them (the final key difference from most recipes). Raphael loves choosing the toppings. This time we made some with cinnamon and sugar, some with sesame and mixed poppy and caraway seeds. We skip glazing the bagels with eggs due to his allergy, so it took some of FoodieDaddy's ingenuity to get the seeds to stick: We pressed down on the dough after removing them from the boiling water, creating a crater of sorts to hold the seeds. In less than 30 minutes from start to finish (the following morning), delicious bagels for the family.

Yes, there are a few pans (and many, many seeds) to clean up. But it is all worth being able to create your own bagel, to save the money you would have spent at the store and, of course, the fun of cooking with the kids.

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