Working with yeast dough is not one of my strong suits. I have tried to make bread a couple of times, as the kids say, fail. But last week on Pioneer Woman’s website there was a bagel recipe that inspired me. And I do like bagels. So I wanted to give it a try. First attempt, fail again – a gob of dried out dough that wouldn’t really stick together. And I used my food processor which I love to find a reason to use. Second attempt, oh no, another fail. Basically had followed the same steps. By now the girls have started to get somewhat involved. The blonde curly haired one is a good baker. And enjoys doing it. The brown haired one is a bit more like her mother. After two attempts we had to call it a day and wait until the next day. But in the midst of this, the baker daughter asks how old the yeast is? Well, I hadn’t really paid attention but discovered it expired in June 2008. Some things stay in my fridge for quite some time. Some of you may also notice that we had moved since then. I must have been sure to bring the yeast with me. Maybe for good luck in our new home? So the next morning, with some updated yeast we try again. This time I am not going to use the food processor but the mix master with what I think are the dough hooks. Remember, I don’t bake. So I combine all the ingredients, as the two recipes I am referring to tell me to do, knead it a bit, and end up with another fairly dried out hunk of dough. It is not really very elastic. But lets use the proof function on the oven and see if it will rise. By this time we are pretty suspicious this maybe another fail. But the brown haired one and I are determined to follow the project through. Now the baker is checking the process out and decides she may try a batch of her own. We knead the dough some more, separate in into pieces, roll those out like a fat snake and then form them into a circle.
The bagels are then par boiled for a few minutes and baked for about 20. Meanwhile the baker has almost finished her dough and comments on how nice it is. She is right. It is soft, light and elastic. The first bagels coming out of the oven, looking not too bad, but then the second batch comes out. See for yourself, there is no comparison. The first ones were pretty hard and crunchy but the second ones tasted just like a bagel should with a harder crust but a soft and warm center. It is not hard to tell who is the baker in this family.