Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bagel, bagel, bagel!

Don't you just love it when things actually turn out successfully? I have made bagels before using Peter Reinhart's recipe but I wasn't completely satisfied with the results. They were edible but lacked that certain bagelly something. Last night I decided to try again using a different flour, "All Trumps," and wow, did it make a difference in the result! The recipe calls for an overnight retarding the the refrigerator so I was excited to get up this morning and complete my baking project. Last time I made them I shaped them by making a round ball and poking my thumb through the center but this time I rolled them into a long rope, wrapped them around my hand, and rolled them on the counter to seal the ends. I like that method much better. The bagels are more rustic looking, which I like. Each bagel weighed 133 grams- why 133 and not 130? Just because. Do 3 grams make a difference? Nope. I boiled them for one minute on each side. PR states that if you want a chewier bagel you may boil them longer. I didn't, so I didn't. The bagels are shiny and crusty on the outside and the crumb looks tender. I have never eaten a 'real' New York bagel so perhaps mine aren't really up to snuff, but as long as they taste good to me and those with whom I share them, who cares?? My daughter has been under the weather all week and she will get a warm fresh bagel when she gets out of bed. How is that for saying "I love you"??? Yesterday at Whole Foods I found Italian butter from Parma and I just couldn't pass it up, despite the hefty price. We only live once, eh? The label says it is 83%- wow! I grew up on homemade butter from our Jersey cow so I know good butter when I taste it. We shall see how this butter compares. I have had French, American, Danish, Irish, and soon will have tasted Italian butter. So far the Irish Kerrygold butter tastes closest to the butter that my grandmother made. She and I were the only ones in the family who drank buttermilk and some of my fondest childhood memories are watching her churn the butter, scooping out the precious yellow chunks (always being careful to get every fleck that she could) and then ladling out a glass of room-temperature buttermilk for her and me to share. She called me "Gooney Bird" and maybe I still am a little 'gooney'- who else makes their own bagels on a whim? Isn't it amazing how a taste or a smell can trigger a long-ago memory? That is part of what makes me want to cook; I want to leave behind a legacy of those memories for my own children, and perhaps one day, grandchildren. Meanwhile I cook because I love to do it. I hear my daughter waking up so I will make her a cup of coffee with lots of sugar and creamer ( the way she loves it) and take her a bagel spread with lots of love...

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes I totally understand your love of good butter. I'm a bit obsessed with it (and Kerrygold is lovely stuff indeed). Well done on your bagels and how lovely for your daughter to get a fresh bagel for breakfast! Merry Christmas to you all! :D