Daring Bakers- my third challenge: Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels

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Today’s the day when you will see a lot of Daring Bakers‘ posts popping up all over the food blog community and most of us who are participating in this month’s challenge, making Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels, have already made them and have had the time to write it down and take the photos but not me, no no, I have been postponing it for various reasons, first because I never make anything too much in advance because I’m not made that way and then because there was always something else to do so this left me with two alternatives: either I didn’t participate or I did it in tempo reale, a sort of online live baking session. I don’t want to miss out on the fun, I really enjoy these challenges so I have opted for the second alternative, yes I’m going to start baking now and then update this post after each and every phase of the process (I know, it will drive you who read Lucullian with a rss reader crazy but it’s only for today, I promise!) so here we go:

9.52 AM: I’m now going to embark on this challenge, I going to bake the bagels chosen by Jenny of All Things Edible and Freya of Writing At The Kitchen Table. I have been mentally taking notes about all the tips and advice my fellow DB’s generously have shared and I hope to make it. More is coming up when I have made the dough.

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10.46 AM: Dough is now rising, the water is on the fire. So far everything is going smoothly. It should because I bake bread several times a week so I should at least be able to make the dough and knead it. I’m more worried about the next step, making the actual bagels. There are two schools I read, the hole-centric method where you make the whole yourself and the dough-centric where you form the bagel with a dough snake biting it’s tail. I’m not sure which to choose but I think I will go for the hole-centric one. Thanks to Peabody I do know that I will have to make a big hole if I want to end up with a hole at all. And then it’s the boil moment, many DB’s have complained about their bagels floating without first sinking but I will do as Helene told us, I will put half of them in the fridge while I boil the rest so that the bagels don’t rise too much. Oops, time to go, duty calls!

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11.28: They are now boiling, one by one. The first one turned out gigantic and it did not sink so I changed tactics, I now beat them down and form the bagels just before I drop them into the water and lo and behold, they sink and then swim! Yahoooo!

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12.01: I have just put the first batch in the oven because boiling them one by one takes such a long time that I’m afraid I wont be able to end before I have to go and get my two daugthers around one. Well one of them arrives with the bus at one and the other is playing like crazy with her friend in her kindergarten so she wont mind. The other will though. As you can see I have 6 different toppings: Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, black mustard seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds and herb salt. We are not allowed to change the inside of the bagel but we can let our creativity go beserk on what we want on top of them instead. And eat them with whatever we want. I have just seen the first DB posts and all the bagels looks so much better than mine…

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12.37: My oldest daughter just phoned to tell me that she missed the bus, GOOD! The second batch is in the oven, I have concluded the photo session, I have tasted them and made up my mind about them. I can therefore consider this challenge as concluded I think. I managed to make the third Daring Bakers’ challenge of my life!

OK, so here is what I think: First of all I have to say that I have never tasted a real bagel in my life (well maybe one in Sweden but I don’t think that was a real one) so I have no idea what they really taste like but if they taste like mine, I love bagels! Even my son who just nicked one from the table declares that they taste good so I can’t complain about that then. They don’t look as beautiful as many of my fellow Bakers’ bagels do but I suppose I need to practice a bit and I will definitely do that, this is a great type of bread! I also would like to point out that bagels are a bit like the Taralli that are made in the south of Italy (I have made these though), the same procedure is adopted, both are boiled before they are baked in the oven but Taralli are made without yeast and they have a completely different texture.
So this third challenge has taught me something new, just like last month’s challenge did and it just confirms that I did the right thing when I joined the Daring Bakers! Thanks Jenny and Freya for choosing such a great challenge! And if you are interested in how the rest of the DB’s have fared, just use my DB blog roll on the right or wait for the roundups over at Jenny’s and Freya’s!

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