Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Homemade Bagels

A lot has happened in 2011.  I promise this won't be a mopey story about all my woes, but I have decided to make some changes.  My health hasn't been the greatest the last several years.  I watch what I eat, I exercise regularly, and still my health issues haven't gone away.  While some things did get better, I am still a work in progress. 

Also my parents have suffered from their own health concerns lately.  I am not going into detail on their exact problems, but their doctors have ordered strict changes for them both.  My dad is far more reluctant to change, but my mom has really taken "the bull by the horns".  The major change for my mom is she can no longer eat processed foods.  Her diet now consists of only fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and lean protein that she prepares herself.  My mom has always been a label reader and has been conscience of sugars and fats, but now she also has to watch preservatives and added chemicals. 

I went home for Christmas and my mom was literally like the shrinking woman.  In the three months since she changed her diet she lost about 30 lbs.  I was happy for her, and hopefully it really helps her health.  Then I started to wonder, how can I avoid processed foods?

About a year ago, I did make a change in our house regarding dairy.  I now buy low-fat/non-fat organic dairy.  I also started making more of my own breads.  Which leads me to today's recipe for bagels.  I love a bagel for breakfast and so does my family.  I have been guilty of buying them for convenience sake, or even stopping by the coffee shop and grabbing one.  The problem with this is, most of the already prepared bagels have a huge list of preservatives.  The coffee shop bagels don't even have labels, so who knows what is in them. 

Making your own breads at home is also very economical.  I can make eight bagels at home for about $1.10 (that is 14 cents a bagel).  The ingredients are controlled to my standards, and really I love the smell of fresh bread baking.

{Side note:  Buy your yeast in a large jar or brick from the grocery or whole sale food clubs.  Store it in an airtight container in the fridge.  This is more economical than buying the small packets.}


1 c. warm water, I use hot tap water
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. bread flour
2 tsp. active dry yeast

1 egg, beaten for glaze

In the insert for your bread machine, add water, sugar, salt.  Slowly add flour on top and make a small indentation.  Add the yeast.  Turn machine on for dough cycle for 1.5 lb loaf.

When the dough cycle is done, turn dough onto floured surface.  Divide into eight pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball.  Then gently pull to make a 1-inch hole. Place on a greased cookie sheet.

Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

In a large stock pot (I used a 5 quart, but 3 quart works too), add 2 quarts of water with 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Bring to a boil.

check out my new dutch oven :)

Boil the bagels in simmering water for 3 minutes, turning once.  Return to cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg.  At this point you can top with dried onion, poppy seeds, garlic, sesame seeds.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool on a rack.  Store in an airtight container for several days.

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