Sunday, July 12, 2009

so much better homemade

Have you ever had a homemade bagel? Or one from a really good quality baked-right-there bakery? It's so not the same as those dense, dried out (but somehow still amazingly delicious) store-bought ones. They're rich and chewy and need no toasting (but still love a little time under the heat) to taste incredible. Well, I was grocery shopping with my dear friend Lori the other day, and she was talking about how much she loves bagels and cream cheese. I was tempted to buy some right then and there when she was talking about them, but I didn't and totally regretted it when I got home. But then I remembered my mom making homemade bagels when I was a kid and knew the store-bought ones just wouldn't do. So I went on a search of bagel recipes and discovered that I could make the dough in bread machine, and that cuts out half the work! Genius. So I went to work, and when they were done, I ate ... 4. And one more when Blake got home. Oops! But seriously, you MUST try them! So easy to make, especially if you have a bread machine, and SO WORTH IT!

Home made plain bagels
makes 6
3/4 C warm water (about 110°)
2 C and 2 T bread flour
1/2 T salt
1.5 T sugar
1 T active dry yeast

large pot full of water, for boiling
1 T sugar
  1. In the bowl of a bread machine, put in dough ingredients in the order written, making a well for the yeast (making sure the yeast doesn't touch any water). Set to dough setting and let the machine do it's work!
  2. Once the dough is done, pull it out and on a lightly floured surface, cut into 6 equal pieces. Form each one into a ball, and them shape into a bagel shape. I figured out that the easiest way to do this, actually, is to poke a hole with a chopstick and then twirl it on the chopstick until it stretches out a bit. But do it how you want:)
  3. Set all 6 formed bagels aside, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 20 minutes.
  4. When the 20 minutes is almost up, bring the pot of water to a boil, and add sugar until it dissolves. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Add bagels, upside down, and simmer for 3 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 3 minutes. Place on a cooling rack over a towel to let drain. Repeat with the remaining 3.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F (240°C). Line up the bagels on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 25~30 minutes, rotating halfway, or until golden brown on top. Let cool slightly before serving. Or let cool completely and store in a zipper-lock bag for a only a few days.
*To make asiago or parmesan ones, when you pull out the bagels to rotate them (after about 15 minutes of baking), sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese on top, place back in the oven and continue baking. Those are super good, too!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

a new cookie

The other day I was looking through etsy and I found this one seller selling cookies with dried blueberries in them. That got me thinking ... and I had to try combining the glorious flavors of blueberry, cinnamon, and lemon together in a cookie! And they turned out great. I thought an oatmeal cookie base would work well with that flavor combination. I think it's a great Summer alternative to the oatmeal chocolate chip, though I do think I like the chocolate better:)

Summer Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
2 C flour
3/4 C butter
2/3 C oats
1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 T egg
1 T vanilla extract
1 C dried blueberries
2 T milk/cream
zest and juice of 1 lemon
  1. Preheat the oven 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk flour, oats, cinnamon, and baking soda.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and mix until fluffy. Add lemon zest & juice.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture. Add milk if too stiff.
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir in the bluebrries.
  5. Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 8~10 minutes.