Thursday, 19 April 2012

Bagels with jam....

So, as threatened yesterday, I did try my hand at making bagels and was very pleasantly surprised with the result!  Not only were they easy to make but they taste great (even if I say so myself).  I can highly recommend giving these a go - the recipe I used was from my favourite book "River Cottage Handbook - Bread". They may not be as perfectly uniform as the shop-bought ones but I quite like that they look homemade :-)

With time on my hands I also made my first ever batch of rhubarb and ginger jam.  I had bought the rhubarb for crumble but had some left over, so out came the jam making kit.  It really only took a few minutes to make and I think it has set ok but we'll see when we open the first jar.  I only had enough for two small jars but I can always make some more with other fruit in season to have some variety. 
Rhubarb & Ginger Jam..
Can't wait to give strawberry jam a go, although it'll be a little while yet until the Welsh strawberries are ready.

One of the nice things about making your own jam is that you can adjust the amount of sugar to your own taste, so it needn't be as sweet as some of the jam in the shops and you can just use whatever fruit you have available.

Well, I can see a toasted bagel with jam in my near future...

The original recipe for the bagels is from the River Cottage Bread book.  I have found a copy of it on The Telegraph website, so I guess it is ok to reproduce:

Ingredients (for 12 bagels):

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 5g powdered dried yeast
  • 10g fine salt
  • 250ml warm water
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 50ml vegetable oil, plus extra for coating
To finish: 1 egg, beaten
Poppy or sesame seeds (optional)

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients to make a dough. Knead on a clean surface until smooth and elastic. Shape into a round, coat with a little extra oil and place in a clean bowl. Leave to rise, covered with a plastic bag. When the dough has doubled in size, deflate it and divide into 12 pieces.
  2. One at a time, roll into a sausage shape, about 15cm long. Wet the ends and press them together to make a ring. Leave to prove, covered, on a lightly oiled plastic board or metal baking sheet (not floured cloths or boards).
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Lightly oil a couple of baking sheets and in a wide pan bring around a 10cm depth of water to the boil. When the bagels have roughly doubled in size, they are ready for poaching. You will need to do this in batches. Turn the pan of water down to a simmer, then slip as many bagels as will fit comfortably into the water (allow room for them to puff up).
  4. Cook for a minute on each side, then remove and drain on a clean tea towel (not kitchen paper as it will stick). When they are all poached, lay the bagels on the baking sheets, gently resticking any that uncurled in the water. Brush all over with beaten egg, then sprinkle with seeds if you like. Bake for 15 minutes, until the bagels are a uniform, glossy golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

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