Hope Sinks

July 24, 2008, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you’re anything like me, baking with yeast seems like too much of a hassle most of the time. Looking at it rationally, I know that the only real difference between yeast baking and “regular” baking is that I need to find something else to do for an hour or so while the dough rises when I bake with yeast. It’s not really a big deal, especially given the backlog of books I have to get through, but it seems I have a mental block about baking with yeast. For me, when you add a boil/bake process into the mix, you’ve got pretty much my own personal last frontier of baking. I’m in the middle of a 9-day stretch of working without a day off, but today I only have a short evening shift and have the house to myself until I leave, so since Isa recently posted a tester bagel recipe, I figured I’d take a whack at bagels for the first time ever.

Though I live in Edmonton, Alberta (right in the middle of the Canadian prairies and not exactly a bagel haven), I do know from good bagels, having lived in Montreal, Quebec for four years during my undergraduate degree. Montreal, for the uninformed, is home to some of the more famous bagels in the world (no, serious) and certainly the best bagels in Canada. St. Viateur Bagel and Fairmont Bagel are both open 24 hours, constantly cranking out bagels (and sometimes matzoh). Whenever I would come back to Edmonton from Montreal, I was bombarded with orders for dozens of sesame and poppyseed. It wasn’t unusual for me to run 6 or 8 dozen bagels back home. Sadly, all “Montreal Style” bagels contain egg, so in the past 5.5 years, I’ve been making do with crappy Dempster’s bagels.

The recipe is pretty basic and makes plain, white bagels, which, really, is exactly what you tend to want in a bagel. The preparation took a bit over 2 hours, but a lot of that was idle time spend listening to the radio and dicking around on the internet, not actively cooking. The skills required to make bagels are pretty basic. All you really need to know is how to knead dough (easy) and form blobs of dough into passable bagel shapes (less easy, but not too hard and something I suspect gets quickly easier with practise).

I can’t write much about the recipe or process, so instead, I’ll just leave you with my final impression: making bagels made me feel really accomplished. My husband said they look “retarded,” but I think that’s supposed to be kind of compliment, and fuck him anyway. If I do nothing else today, I will have at least done this! I urge you all to try out an intimidating or time-consuming recipe you’ve been eyeing this week. Also, here are a couple pictures, but they’re not very good. Maybe I’ll use this afternoon to read up on digital photography…


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Dang, I need to make those!

Comment by melisser

Your pictures look fine! And the bagels look good too. Bagels are definitely on my “to try” short list.

Comment by veganhomemade

jordan, those pictures are great! pshaw.

Comment by getsconed

Homemade bagels! What a fantastic idea! I remember living off of bagels when I first went vegan, and haven’t really been back to them since…but your recipe has reinspired me! :o)

Comment by Carrie

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