Relaxing day

For weeks now, I have been baking muffins, cupcakes, cakes…Anything sweet really and I knew it was time for a break after my daughter asked for some carrot sticks for a snack. Sweets overload, I think. That child can eat cakes and chocolate for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or so I thought. 

My plan for today was just to sit outside and enjoy some sun on a lovely winter day as they said it was going to rain over the weekend. I even picked out a book to read. Time to relax. Doctors orders (not that I listened so far). 

My husband took our daughter food shopping with him and our son was busy playing with his dog. I must admit, I am milking this for all it’s worth. I probably could’ve gone food shopping with them but that must be one chore I hate most in the world and I have been doing it every week for the past 16 years so it is nice to have someone else do it for a change. All I had to do was write a list and hope he gets the right stuff. 

Last week was the first time my husband did food shopping and he made quite few mistakes but hey, he tried, right? Have to give him credit for that. I had to laugh when he got ginger cookies out of the bag. I asked him how come he bought those. No one in our house likes ginger cookies. He told me that I wrote “ginger” on the shopping list and he couldn’t find it anywhere so he thought I probably needed it for cooking so the only ginger product he could find was ginger cookies. Yep, like I said, he never goes shopping. 

He even made me a cup of coffee before they left and I set there in the sun reading a book and time just flew by. They were gone for 2 hours but it felt like 10 minutes. All the shopping was brought inside and after checking it was all there, I am proud to say he got 100%. I was so proud of him even though our 12 year old had to tell him few times “No Dad! Mum never buys that kind of….” It was a team effort and they excelled. 🙂

After it was all packed away, my daughter couldn’t stop winking. I thought there was something in her eye but it turned out she was trying to get her Dad’s attention cause he left “something” in the car. He finally got it and oh how happy was I? It was another baking book. It has everything from different kinds of breads to any cake you can imagine.

Apparently they were walking pass the book shop and the lady that works there was just placing them in the window. Yes, I know! I have the most thoughtful husband in the world but I can also tell you, lots of training went into that. 

Well, after going through the book and looking at all the recipes, there goes my “no baking, just relaxing” day. But at least I didn’t make anything sweet. I made New York bagels!

I have never even tried to make those as it just seems so complicated but everyone in my family loves them so I thought, what the hell! Why not? SO I got stuck into it and to cut the long story short, they were perfect so I thought I will share the recipe with you guys just in case if you feel like baking them too. So here it is. 

New York Bagel Recipe

2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup more, I know I did)
3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour(will need extra for kneading)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt

Optional Toppings:
Caraway seeds, coarse salt, minced fresh garlic, minced fresh onion, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds. (Everyone in my house prefers plain bagels, but I have no preference, so I just went with the plain, so no one could complain.)

1. In ½ cup of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.

2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.

3. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup of water. You want to result in a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.

4. On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.

5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I used a scale to be extra precise, but it’s not necessary). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured below). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.

7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ? the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.

8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC

9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York Style bagel with this option).

10. If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so as you take them out of the water, you may use the “optional toppings” (listed above) to top the bagels and if you’re risky like me, make a combination of the toppings to top the bagels with, but before hand, you will need to use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before putting the bagels into the oven.

11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet.

12. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

13. Cool on a wire rack. 

And that’s it! Not hard at all. And here is a picture.



Maybe not perfect but pretty close. 🙂





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