Saturday, September 23, 2006

Levy's Bagels

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I know, I know, I KNOW that I should always read these recipes carefully and preferably at least twice. There is often helpful, if not vital, information tucked into the middle of a paragraph. I was merrily weighing the flour when, after I'd mixed in all the flour, I realized that I wasn't supposed to add it all at once, and that the last two tablespoons were to be added only if you wanted a heavier, denser bagel "which some people like." (Implying, I think, that only people of lesser taste like it that way). Well, nothing much that can be done about it, so I continued.
After I added the tablespoon and a half of softened butter, I read Rose's comment at the end: butter will make the bagel have a softer and lighter crumb; personally, she says, I prefer them without butter. Drat! I wanted to make these just exactly like Rose likes them. Okay, I've screwed up twice, and I'm not even at the hard part yet.
Bagel dough can spend a lot of time in the refrigerator, which is good, because we had house guests this weekend, and we also went to the new Tyrone Guthrie theater on Friday night, and to see the Minnesota Opera's La Donna del Lago on Saturday night, leaving me only Sunday to shape, boil, and bake the bagels.
Bagels were on my list of scary breads, but they really aren't that difficult to make. The shaping gets a little tricky, and a couple of my attempts look like they were made by someone who said, "I could do that with my eyes closed." And they just looked weird when I took them out of the boiling water (with molasses and baking soda added). But after they came out of the oven, they looked gorgeous--except for the misshapen ones--with a lovely golden brown color.
We dug into them almost immediately. Because of my braces, I had to cut them in pieces before I could eat them, giving a Baby's First Bagel quality to the eating experience, but even so they were quite delicious. I was hoping they'd be good, but also hoping in a way that they wouldn't be noticeably superior to the bagels from the Bruegger's shop that's only a few blocks away, so that I would be able to tell myself it wasn't worth the trouble to make them myself. That is not the case, however. After two bites, Jim asked me if they were so difficult to make that I wouldn't be serving them routinely. When I choked at the word "routinely," he amended it to "maybe when we have company for breakfast?" I think I could handle that.

We ate the bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon and/or cream cheese and raspberry preserves. The smoked salmon was the Minnesota kind, not New York lox, but it was good nonetheless. Good enough for a repeat. Next year.


kneadtobake said...

You should be very proud of yourself, your bagels look better than if they had come from Bruegger's. Good job!

breadbasketcase said...

Thank you--I am rather pleased with myself, to tell the truth.

Chai18 said...

yay bagels, and on a sunday morning too

sbfinct said...

I love the odd-shaped ones. They have personality.

evil cake lady said...

congrats on tackling a scary bread! they look great, and i agree, the odd shpaed ones have personality.

Harry said...

Beautiful looking bagels! Congratulations, and on your first try, too. I personally grew up with a firmer, New York style bagel, like they used to sell at Cecil's Deli on Cleveland Ave. in St. Paul.

yiuma said...

What happened? Did you make any new bread for the last weekend?