Saturday, 14 December 2013

New York Bagels

It seems rather fitting to make a post about NY bagels on board an American cruise ship. It is currently day four of our twelve day tour with Celebrity Solstice. We sailed from Auckland, stopped by Bay of Islands and Tauranga before arriving at Wellington this morning.  The weather's been mighty fine so far and the ocean vast and blue. This is our first cruise and everyone's been so nice. I suppose being on a holiday puts everyone in a good mood. Aside from the occasional rockiness and motion sickness, this trip has been relaxing. With an abundance of food on board that is available almost twenty four seven, it feels like all we've been doing all day is eat, sleep, walk. I haven't been as eager to take that many photos, just a few here and there of what I thought captured the essence of each location. I'll be sharing more about the trip once I get home and have a chance to edit the photos! So stay tuned for that!

Now about these bagels.  I got pretty obsessed with making them. They're much easier to make than I anticipated. You'll need some elbow grease for the kneading, but working for your food makes it more delicious doesn't it? It also makes the bagel chewy and bouncy! The recipe I pinched from The Sophisticated Gourmet, altering only the types of flour and the amount of salt. The bagels are so tasty. The wholewheat flour that I added gives a subtle sweetness to the bread that makes the bagels perfect treats even just by themselves.  Of course, they're great bases to the usual PB and J, but if you're feeling more up to it, you could whip up a warm salad and fry or poach an egg and there we go, a satisfying and nutritious lunch you'll have.  I made a warm, herby eggplant, tomato and fungi salad, of which I'll share with you soon!

Unlike Auckland which currently only have one store that specializes in bagels (Best Ugly Bagels), the ship has an abundance of it. I haven't gotten around to it yet though. Just been devouring their deliciously fluffy rye bread. But I don't feel too deprived. These bagels were just that amazing.

New York bagels 

Makes 8

2 tsp dried yeast
2 tbsp raw sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups high grade unbleached plain flour
1 cup wholewheat flour
2 tsp salt

Pour dried yeast and sugar in the 1/2 cup of water and let it sit for 5 minutes without stirring. After 5 minutes, stir until sugar and yeast diasolves.
Combine flour and salt and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and begin stirring together. Gradually add in the 3/4 cup of water and continue to stir in. You may or may not need all the water. The dough should be moist and firm. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a floured surface with floured hands. The dough should end up firm and elastic and don't feel sticky. When you press down on the dough with your finger it should gently bounce back.
Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and leave to rest in a warm place, covered with a wet tea towel, for an hour until double in size. Knock down and let rise for another 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 and shape each one into round doughs. To shape, place the dough on the counter top and cup your hand over it. Move your arm in circular motions, pressing the dough down with slight pressure. Once all doughs are done, coat a finger in flour and press into the middle of the dough to make a hole, like a doughnut. The hole should be 1/3 the size of the dough.  Repeat with the rest. Leave in a warm place covered for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and preheat oven to 220C.
Once the water is boiled, reduce heat to a simmer. Drop the bagel doughs into the pot and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Don't over-crowd the pot. The doughs will float and expand. Drain on wire rack then bake in the oven on a tray lined with lightly oiled baking sheet for about 20 minutes until golden.
Serve with your favorite topping! 

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