Homemade Bagels

It is time for July’s Kitchen Challenge from Love and Olive Oil.

kitchenchallenge-july

The challenge is bagels and I was very excited to see this.  It has never crossed my mind to make my own.  I have made pita bread and I have English muffins and croissants on my to-do list, but never bagels.

Like the past challenges (mozzarella, ginger ale, and macarons), there are a number of different recipes that can be used, some with very different methods.  I didn’t want to do anything crazy complicated so I found this recipe from Food Network.

Things started off ok.  And that quickly ended.  I have to say, I was not crazy about doing this as I got more into it.  Although there is rest time for the dough, it just seemed to take a lot longer than I anticipated.  And then there is the mess.

I felt that things weren’t going right when I was kneading the dough.  I just couldn’t get it to not be sticky.  I did eventually get it to a consistency that I was happy with.

bagel dough

And then the dough had to rise for an hour.  Although I had the air conditioner one, I think the heat and humidity was just too much for this dough.  It seemed to have tripled in size in less than an hour.

dough risen

Once it rose, it was ready to be broken up into pieces to form the bagels.  The dough was still pretty sticky so once it was time to form them in the shape of a bagel, I had to keep flouring my hands.

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Again, they rose very quickly.  I lost the hole in the middle!  But I still kept going as fast as I could before the rose too much.  I boiled them and prepared them for baking.

bagels pre-boil

bagels in water

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I was pleasantly surprised at how good the bagels looked when I took them out of the oven.

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And they taste good!  I didn’t put any toppings on them or anything in them.  I didn’t want to make this process any more complicated than I needed to.

baked bagels

They aren’t as soft as what I am used to.  But they have a nice crust on the outside and are chewy (maybe just a tad too chewy).

bagel with cream cheese

As glad as I am that these bagels were somewhat successful, this is not something I am going to rush to do again.  I don’t mind involved recipes but this is not a favorite of mine.  Also, I think the recipe could have been a little more detailed and that would have been helpful.  I am perfectly happy buying bagels at the market or coffee shop.  But at least I can say I can make homemade bagels!

Basil Butter Garlic Bread

Basil has been growing like crazy in my little herb garden this summer.

basil

So any time I come across a recipe that calls for basil, I want to give it a try.  I saw this recipe for Basil Butter Garlic Bread on Jenna’s Everything Blog and needed to make it.  Who doesn’t like a nice garlic bread to go with an Italian dinner?  Especially one that is not from the frozen section.

This recipe is extremely easy.  I love it when you can throw everything in a food processor and it does all the work for you.

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I also love it when you can just run out to the back yard and pick the fresh herbs that you need.  This recipe not only calls for basil but a bit of parsley as well.  And despite what the recipe says, you can easily adjust the amount of herbs you put in it for your liking.

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Spread the butter on a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread that has been sliced down the middle.

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Top it with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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Wrap it in foil and bake.  That’s it!

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Matt and I did have this garlic bread with spinach basil pesto over chicken and pasta.  You may say it is basil overload for one night.  But no, it was all wonderful!

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I think this would make a great appetizer as well if you cut the loaf up into small pieces.  Remember, you can find the recipe here!

Cinnamon-Sugar Ribbon Bread

The combination of cinnamon and sugar gets me every time.
cinnamon and sugar mix
When I see this mixture in a recipe, I need to make it. And this was the case when I saw a recipe for cinnamon sugar ribbon bread from Averie Cooks. Since that disaster of a bread I made last time, I needed to redeem myself.
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And I did.
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The bread is so easy and so good! It is a great breakfast treat that is very moist and has a nice cinnamon/sugar crust on the top.

crust

I like mine a little warm with some butter. Yum!
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If you want to give this bread a try, you can get the recipe here! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!