Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bread Baking via The OC

Bagels!!  Peter is so funny when it comes to bagels.  There are three pages of text before the actual recipe, including this gem: "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who like chewy water bagels and those who prefer softer steamed bagels."  Someone needs to make a Facebook quiz about this.  Anyway, Peter is inclined toward the former, and his recipe reflects this.  I never really thought about which bagel I prefer, but I mean, I love bagels.  Hands down.  So we'll see about this water bagel thing.  Peter says all bagels now are steamed, b/c they're easier to manufacture.  They don't require crazy boiling.  I still can't imagine why bagels need to be boiled, but I guess I'll find out.

My sponge = yeast + flour (I'm trying half bread flour, half whole wheat again, although Peter says you can't create an "authentic" bagel without high-gluten flour, but whatever, authenticity is so structuralist.) + water =

So, this sits for two hours and becomes:


It's all bubbly and foamy!  Then, you hit it on the counter, and it deflates (trying to avoid connotations of violence here).

Bad picture, but trust me, it deflated.  All the little bubbles popped.  This sponge was so weird to mix up.  It retained it's bubblyness.  This + yeast + more flour + salt + honey =


So, I was really surprised with this bread -- for some reason, usually I think, blech, this is so floury, I'm going to have to add so much water.  So, I thought that with this one, but I didn't add any, and it turned out fine!  When I was kneading it, all of the excess flour got incorporated!  PS: I watched the "Pressure" episode of My So-Called Life earlier this week, so when I was kneading, I just kept thinking of this:

Oh, if only I had a man to knead bread dough with me!  Which from now on will obviously be my goal in life.  Yes, My So-Called Life: always defining my resolutions.  Once I kneaded my dough sans man, it became:


So pretty!  This was a difficult dough b/c it was so dense.  But I thought of my love for bagels and danced/kneaded to Mary J.

I'm making mini-bagels!!  Yaaay!  So, my dough all broken up:

And these pieces all rolly:


So mathy looking.  Too beautiful!!  Too beautiful!!  Must be put in purdah!!!!!

Whew.  Now I can function while the rolls enjoy a (most likely queer) harem in their purdah.  At least for twenty minutes.

But after twenty minutes, the "rolls" require penetration (omg -- I'm sorry, this blog entry is ridic weird) to transform into bagels.  Like self-shattering Bersani style, basically.  NBD.


That looks so dirty.  Anyway, that's how rolls become bagels.  So sue me.  All my rolls after penetration, aka bagelified:

So after another twenty minutes of chillaxin', the bagels are supposed to float in water.  And look!


It does!!  Yaay!  So, that means I'm done for today.  Next, Peter super emphasizes how important "retardation" of bagels is.  There is a lot of problematic language in bread making, I am realizing.  We'll talk some about this next week, too -- with brioche.  So, the babies are staying overnight in the fridge and will go home to the oven tomorrow!!

It's kind of like Cribs.  You can see what's in our fridge!  At least some things.  It looks like Brendan went to Whole Foods, but he didn't.  Anyway, good good night, little bagels!  See you tomorrow!  <3