I need you to know that I really debated on stalking this kid versus just making the darn oatmeal cookies that just looked so freaking delicious that I almost started it at midnight. I mean, really…how creepy is it to stalk a kid who is almost young enough to be your son…assuming you had a baby when you were a [very, VERY young] teenager.
I love me the bagel. [Not the bagelheads in Japan because that’s even creepier than stalking a teenager]. I mean the good old fashioned New York Style Bagel. I saw Kamran’s bagel photos and nearly took a bite out of my monitor. Join me in my adventures in trying to interpret this recipe since I only understood half of it.
Step 2: Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture. I add the remaining water as instructed…plus another 1/2 cup as not instructed. Oh man. WHY didn’t i do it a little at a time?? This is sticky, goopey mess.
Step 3: I’m supposed to flour the countertop. At what point is it too much flour?? Oh wait…it probably doesn’t matter since my dough is still a sticky mess. I knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic – or rather until my arms are about to fall off. I mean, HOW DO THESE PEOPLE KNEAD THE DOUGH FOR SO LONG?? “Try to work in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough” the instructions said. Secretly, I’m hoping for firm and stiff arms instead.
Step 4: I brush the bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat – did I just remove the lightly brushed oil on the bowl when i turned the dough to coat? Does it matter? Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise. During that hour, I did nothing productive. Kamran, I’m sure, made 4 types of cookies, 3 tarts, 2 cakes, and roasted a partridge in a pear tree during that time*.
Step 5: I punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes. Geez. I hope I punched it down enough. I’m not one for oppression or keeping anything down.
Step 6: I eyeball and attempt to cut 8 equal pieces of my very fluffy, puffy dough. Unfortunately, my depth perception hasn’t been the same since my faulty lasik surgery so they come out in varying sizes. I saw the picture of Kamran’s hand shaping the equal [precisely measured] ball. Ummm…I had to use 2 hands to shape it. I hope to God he just has inordinately large hands and it isn’t because I really messed something up. His photos on his blog show a perfect ball. Mine looked like it was massacred by Edward Scissorhands.
Step 7: I poke holes into the bagels. Unevenly, of course.
Step 8: I generously allow 15 minutes for my bagels to rest instead of the 10 minutes per the instructions…and not because I forgot about them [again]. Riiiight.
Step 9: Time to boil the bagels. Hmmm…what exactly does he mean when he says that they’ll float to the top after a few seconds? Mine never sank. Were they supposed to?? Crap. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
Step 10: I’m still perplexed as to why my bagels are so freaking huge and puffy. WTH?? I don’t even bother with the sesame topping because my bagels look more like balloons than bagels. It would roll right off.
Step 12: aaahhh…20 minutes to surf the net while the bagels bake. AND I actually remembered to set my timer. [score 10 points!]
Step 13: Too bad it only needed 17 minutes to brown. *SIGH* [minus 15 points.]
Ok, so it came out puffier than I would’ve liked. It’s my first try. I’m most definitely trying this again! Thanks for the encouragement, Kamran! [and for not calling the cops on me – special thanks for THAT!]
Please note: i’ve never baked with yeast before. I was traumatized in high school chem by a disastrous lab assignment involving yeast and never really got over it. Some people are afraid of public speaking – me, it’s yeast.
* I’m still trying to get over the fact that this 17 year old has produced this amazing blog, does his homework, takes AP courses, and bakes like a maniac. When I was in high school, my favorite past times included trying to see how long I could go without opening a textbook, getting my homework done DURING class, and picking lint out of my belly button. Those were good times.