Sunday, April 28, 2013

First Attempt at Baking Bagels: Success

I began baking bread fairly regularly last year.  This year, I bake two loaves of bread nearly every weekend. Along the way I have become comfortable enough that I understand the term, "until it looks right."  Yesterday I attempted my first batch of bagels.  Due to ingredients on hand, I had to improvise a little and didn't follow the recipe exactly.  But because I've become comfortable with basic bread I felt I could wing it and get by.  Other than all the bagels weren't the same shape, I got six thumbs up from the family.  My first grader even wants his school lunch to be a bagel sandwich.
Other than the aesthetics,these bagels turned out great

 Fried eggs on a homemade toasted bagel for breakfast

I usually make white bread, but a few weeks ago my wife found a recipe for honey oat bread.  I was happy to use honey, rather than sugar, as it is one more local ingredient.  I know there is information addressing honey as a sugar substitute in bread (the white bread I've been making uses about 4 tablespoons of sugar), but I never ventured to try it.  So, with a recommended recipe, I tried and the family liked.   

My older son shaping the dough into a loaf

When placing the dough to rise on the window rack, we saw a red-bellied woodpecker visiting the suet feeder. 
  Of all the birds that visit our feeders, the woodpeckers are my favorites.

Another week's worth of bread just out of the oven

We should be good on bread until next weekend.


  1. Matt bakes bagels from time to time and they are always very well recieved. (Actually, I might have to mention that one of those "time to times" should be soon! : )

    Good work on your first attempt! They look super to me. I like to think those subtle irregularities are just part of the greatness of homemade items. No machine-punched, exactly the same clones here!

    I hang suet and the birds just ignore it. My father-in-law can go through a cake a day. I wonder where I am going wrong.... That is a beauty of a bird though.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I may be creating more "chores" if the family likes what I bake. Right now my kids don't know any better. But some day when they think of their childhood, I'd rather they have memories of fresh baked bread rather than "remember when Dad opened that box of ____ and put it in the microwave."