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Archive for March, 2010

Do you have something that you’ve always thought would be cool to make, but you’re so sure you’ll screw it up that you’re too afraid to actually make it?

That used to be me and bagels.

I think it had something to do with the whole boiling process.

But no more ladies and gentlemen!  Not only did I make bagels, but now I want to make bagels every day for the rest of my life.

Well, I want to eat them, anyway.

And I think you should eat some, too.  But you’ll have to make your own.  So I’ll share the recipe, along with my handy-dandy instructional photos.

I adapted this recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. My only adaptation was that I used a different recipe for the dough, one which I got from the same authors’ book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

So, in a way it was a huge adaptation, but in another way, it wasn’t really an adaptation at all…

I’ve been making all of our family’s bread using the five minute a day method since we moved to Ellensburg, and we’ve been very happy with it.  I find it easier to do than to load my bread machine up each time I want a loaf.

The dough recipe I used is as follows:

  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tbs KOSHER salt (the big flakes- if you use table salt, cut this to 2 tbs)
  • 3 tbs yeast
  • 13 cups of flour (I used 2 cups of whole wheat, the rest was all-purpose)

I mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl with a (not air-tight!) lid, and I let it rest on my counter for 4 hours before refrigerating the whole batch.

This will obviously make WAY more dough than you need for the bagels.  This much dough usually lasts us a week or two- I cut off the amount I need and put the rest back in the fridge whenever I make bread.  It works well in rounds, loaves, and rolls.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

To make these into cinnamon raisin bagels you will need:

  • 2 lbs of dough
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I went heavier than this on the cinnamon)
  • 1/3 c raisins

Additionally, for the boiling water pot you will need:

  • 8 qts water (I didn’t measure, but I don’t think my pot was even big enough for 8 qts…)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Now we can start.

First, take your hunk of dough and place it on your well-floured counter.  Roll it out as thin as you are comfortable with. The recipe recommends 1/4 inch, but mine wasn’t that thin.

Mix your sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle liberally on the surface.

This is a good opportunity for all you conservatives out there to try out the liberal life style.

Now it is the raisins turn- do the same thing with them.

See, being liberal can be fun!

At this point, resist the urge to change your mind and make cinnamon rolls instead.  It will be very hard to convince yourself that bagels are still a good idea at this point, but I PROMISE, they will be worth it.

But if you want, you can pretend you are making cinnamon rolls, because the next step is the same! Roll ‘er up…

Then, just for kicks, roll your roll up. This is something you don’t get a chance to do when you are making cinnamon rolls!

Then kinda knead this together a bit to really incorporate the cinnamon and raisins into the dough.

Now you have 2 options: You can do as I’m doing and measure out 3 oz bits of dough and have flashbacks of working with your dad at Domino’s Pizza… or you could just divvy the dough ball into about 10-12 pieces.

Form these pieces into balls and let them rest for about 20 minutes.

Sometimes the raisins will try to escape, that’s okay. It makes them look cute.

At this point it would be a good a good idea to get your water boiling. Once it has, reduce it to a simmer and dump in the sugar and baking soda.  Then preheat your oven to 425°.

After their nap, be a jerk and use your thumb to make a hole right through the dough balls.  Add insult to injury by stretching this hole until its diameter is about three times the width of the bagel wall.

My holes weren’t big enough, they closed up almost immediately and were nearly holeless once finished.

I don’t know what to call a bagel without a hole… a sweet boiled roll? That doesn’t sound good.

One at a time, drop your bagels gently into the simmering water. I was able to get about 6 in my pot at a time, but make sure you don’t crowd them.

The next thing on your list of weird things to do today is put out a clean dish cloth and dust it with flour.  It is preferable to use a dish cloth that has various doors printed on it, if available.

You only want to boil your bagels for 2 minutes before flipping them over. So stop being distracted by the towel already.

Then boil the other side for one minute.

Then they are ready to relax on the nice, comfy, floured towel.

I’m told you do this to rid the bagels of the excess water.  I suppose that makes sense.

Now they are ready to bake.  If you decide not to bake them and to eat them as is, you’re a weirdo.  Don’t do it. Hot wet bread dough is not as scrumptious as you may think.

Place them on a floured cookie sheet, and place the sheet in the oven.  I guess they had bigger holes at this point then I remembered them having.  But don’t be fooled- they aren’t big enough!

Bake these babies for about 20 minutes.  They will turn a beautiful golden brown.

Aren’t they gorgeous! Congratulations, you just made bagels! Or, at least you read about making bagels, and reading is important, too.

But if you only read about making them and didn’t actually make them, you won’t have the opportunity to do this:

Slice one open, add a little butter and take a bite.  You’ll love it.

While they are warm, they are best with just a little butter.  After they cooled, we liked them best toasted and topped with a little cream cheese.

Happy bagel-ing!

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Whew! What a month!

First things first, I have been seriously negligent on the pregnant belly picture front.

In my own defense, however, the first trimester was much more about breast growth than belly growth, and it seemed a little weird to post pictures of how fast my knockers were growing.

Sorry boys, I’m just being honest.

Also, since Steve and I work different schedules and because I’m asleep when he is awake and vice versa, we haven’t really had much time together for photo-ops.

I did take one myself, are you proud? I may be in my pajamas, I may be missing a head, and you may be getting a lovely shot of my garbage pile and dirty counters, but you still love me, right?

Right?

Hmm…

Anyhow, I have gained six inches of belly, 2 cup sizes, and 4 lbs.

I’m pretty okay with that.

I’m not okay with my charming youngest brother telling me that I don’t look any “more pregnant” than I did before I was pregnant.

But no one will ever find his body.

In other news… finals are nearly finished!  Tomorrow I turn in my English portfolio, take a Russian test, and then go to work.

And then it’ll be over!!

Unfortunately, between school, work, and pregnancy hormones, I went a little crazy.

As in mentally unbalanced.

The stress, it seems, has been making me ill. Not to mention the pregnancy has been making me ill.  And the illness caused by the pregnancy has made me stressed, which has made me ill.

Vicious cycle.

And so, on the advice of my doctor, I’m cutting back.

Next semester (which begins later this month- don’t you think spring break should be longer than a week?) I have decided to only take Russian.

This may seriously impede my progress towards getting any type of degree, but Steve and I both feel like this is a necessary little “break.”

Hopefully it will provide for more time sewing and baking and blogging.

And finally, I wanted to share with you the best thing that happened in the Flynn home this month:

I made bagels!

Okay, perhaps that seems a bit… like something that shouldn’t be the best thing to happen in a month… but these were so amazingly delicious, that it seriously feels that way.

They turned out so lovely that I just had to share.

Well, share the recipe anyway, I ain’t sharing my bagels with nobody.

But you know what? It is past 7:30 now, which means that I took too long prefacing this bagel post and it is now past my new bedtime.

That means next post will be bagel post, and now you won’t be surprised.

But you will come back, won’t you?

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Keith Bradford Smith

My biggest little brother was born on March 12, 1986.

That was the first day I was a sister.

Being only 22 months apart, Keith was my first friend.

He  has been my friend longer than anybody else.

We’ve always been an outdoorsy kinda family, and many of my first memories are of being in the woods with my little brother.

We still love to be outdoors, and I still love going camping with him.

He married a beautiful girl that I’m lucky to call my sister, and they both make me laugh.

Last year they had a beautiful baby girl, whom they named Molly.

Its fun to watch your sibling become a parent.  He is such a good dad.

Thanks for being my friend, little brother.  I miss you and love you more than you know.

Happy Birthday!

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I volunteered to make a cake for a baby shower this week.

My co-worker, Jen, is going to have a little boy, and I’m very excited for her.

I decided to make cupcakes that look like babies, a la Wilton.

Cute and Contented Cupcakes

The first thing I did was attempt to make a skin-colored frosting.

It was almost perfect, but just a little pink, so I added some yellow to balance it out.

Yes, now I have jaundice-colored frosting.

Well, thats workable… So I started to make the chocolate-cherry cupcakes.

I poured in the cherry pie filling, the eggs, and whoops!! That was a white cake mix!

So now I have pink cupcakes with yellow frosting.

Poor little baby boy!

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The Ginger People

Dear Ginger People,

I just wanted to write you a short thank you note for keeping me sane.

Your ginger hard candy has been a panacea for me.  I think every woman, upon learning she is pregnant, should be given a 9 month supply of them.

Maybe I’ll write a letter to my congressman next and see if he could get that into the Health Reform plan.

I learned before I was pregnant that your ginger chews are excellent on road trips to stifle carsickness, as well.

Your little ginger characters are so cute.  Every time I see them on a new product I want to buy it immediately.

Ginger Snacker Baked GoodsBeveragesPantry Essentials

I’ve been dreaming about your Ginger Beer, Crystallized Ginger Chips, and Ginger Shortbread.

I don’t know how I would use your Ginger Syrup or Pickled Ginger, though.

Anyhow, thank you. You rock my world.

Love forever,

Heather

P.S. I should probably actually send this to the Ginger People, but, I didn’t.  They won’t know I exist unless they like to Google themselves.

P.P.S. If you are pregnant, buy something from them.  You’ll feel better.

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Please No More Socks!

In case anyone out there was worried about Steve getting cold feet…

Don’t.

I’m pretty sure we could go at least a year without doing laundry and he’d never run out of socks.

Of course clean underwear is a whole different animal…

This has been a public service announcement.

(As in, it would be a public service if you were to come help me fold socks on laundry day.)

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