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Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

Bagels!

Boiling bagels gives them a crisp crust

Boiling bagels gives them a crisp crust

Do you like your bagels steamed or boiled? That is the question.

To be honest, before I made them myself, I didn’t have a clue. If someone had told me – I know the place to get the best hand rolled, steamed bagels, I would say GREAT! Lead the way! Being not from Bagel-land, I had no idea what makes a great bagel. A little research has unearthed the fact that bagel afficionados prefer the boiled bagel. It’s the way they “used to do it” before places with the 6 inch Cinnamon Crunch bagel took over the world (not naming any names here).

What does boiling do exactly? Well, it gives the bagel a little bit of a chewy crust. And really, you when you make these, you will realize this makes all the difference in the world. The water doesn’t really penetrate very far into the dough during boiling (something about the starches gelatinizing), so there is this very slight crust that is formed that forms when baking. You will notice the little bit of crunch on the crust that you just don’t get from steamed bagels. And the bagels themselves are chewier. To be honest, they rule. The little bit of crust is the “holy cow – these are so much better” that willl set your homemade, boiled bagels apart from the ones you get at the local bagel shop (well, alright, unless you are lucky enough to live by a place that actually boils their bagels. Most don’t though  – it is too labor intensive a process).

Next up, of course, there is the water controversy. As in, “bagels can only be made from water from Brooklyn. The End”. Well, what’s a Chicaogoan to do? I mean, I COULD import water like this Bagel place. Alas, I think good old Chicago tap will have to do.

Alright, making your own bagels takes time, but it isn’t hard. It is a two day process. Which is actually ok because you want your bagels fresh, first thing in the morning, right? So get to it. You won’t be disappointed.

The recipe I used is from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, which, if you haven’t already checked this book out and are interested in baking, GET THIS BOOK PRONTO (and if you don’t want to get the book, head over to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe). It is bread making demystified. And if you are interested in learning bread making with a whole mess of people from around the world, get in on the BBA Challenge (I, personally, cannot bring myself to bake bread every week, but I will s-l-o-w-l-y work my way through the book on my own).

Oh – one note – I caramelized some onions to use as a topper. I would not recommend doing that. They are just way too greasy. Instead – I would probably purchase onion flakes or some sort of dehydrated onion product.  Just my two cents.

Finally – storage. I stored mine on the counter on a plate…loosely wrapped in plastic wrap for maybe 3 days. I would have stored them in the freezer, but we had company that weekend and managed to blow through the whole batch pretty quickly. I would not, under any circumstances, stick them in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Ms. Pantry Raid

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Naan

Chewy, delicious and so easy to make at home.

Chewy, delicious and so easy to make at home.

This post is gonna be straight and to the point. I whipped up some Naan a few months ago – ate most of them right away (some of it as I was making it – it was so good) and froze the rest. I had a recipe set aside for a dish I wanted to make with the Naan, but it so far has not happened. So instead, we’ll just have this fabulously chewy Indian bread on it’s own.

Do you have any idea how ridiculously easy it is to make Naan? Well, you would if you’ve made it before. Make your dough, let it rise, separate it into mini loaves for the second rise, stretch out the dough and fry it up. Easy! The hardest part is realizing you have, oh, I don’t know, 13 more loaves to fry up before you are done.

But it is totally worth it.

Oh, you don’t have a tandoor? Yeah, me neither. I used a cast iron skillet and it worked out just great.

Here’s the recipe. Whatever you do, don’t get the bright idea to add garlic powder (yeah, don’t ask). That was a bad, bad idea on my part.

Enjoy!

Ms. Pantry Raid

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Mango, curry and chocolate. Why not?

Mango, curry and chocolate. Why not?

 

 

 

5 Weeks. 9 Pounds to lose. Starting…after the mango bread is gone.

Since I started posting with Tuesdays With Dorie, I’ve gained some weight. Ok, let’s be honest here – a LOT of weight. So I took a couple of weeks off from TWD – thinking that would cut it. Well, it hasn’t. So the “official diet” starts right after the mango bread is gone.  And anyway, I had a mango sitting in the fruit bowl that was starting to shrivel so I couldn’t  have NOT made this week’s recipe, right?

 

A couple of substitutions…

I know many of you make changes to the TWD recipes and I wanted to prove I could play with the big girls this week, so I looked over the recipe and thought of what I would do differently. Hmmm…what goes with mangoes… Curry!  Since my ground ginger is smelling especially rank (I noticed that it came from Wild Oats – the last time I visited a Wild Oats was when I lived in Cincinnati… eight years ago…), the curry powder went into the bowl in place of the ginger. This turned out really well, but I think maybe upping the amount to 2t would make it even better. 

Next up – in honor of National Chocolate Chip Day (May 15), I replaced the raisins with chocolate chips. Ok, that is not really the reason for the substitution – I found out about the holiday after the fact. Truth is, I don’t like raisins in my bread. Or cookies. I just don’t. Put them in a savory dish and I’m THERE. But I don’t like them in my desserts. I believe we have covered this in previous posts. So chocolate chips go in for the raisins . I don’t know how much – I didn’t measure. Another aside – I know I could never be a cookbook author since I belong to the  “oh just throw a little of this and that in the bowl and kinda do this and voila!” camp of cooking.

Alright. Mango and curry and chocolate – now we are talking! If you’ve ever had the Vosges Naga bar, you’ll know I’m not totally off my rocker here. Alright, if you are gonna call me out, I am well aware that the Naga uses coconut, not mango, but I figure it’s similar. And I’m trying to pull off soft of an Indian flavor here. Are you feeling it?

Verdict?

The result? Day one it was good. Not outstanding, but a damn fine bread. Day two? Yep. This is good stuff people! I toasted it and slathered on some homemade butter and it became instant dessert. Yum!

So thanks to Kelly over at Baking with the Boys for selecting this recipe! The recipe will be posted over there. My only subs were curry for the ginger and chocolate chips for the raisins.

Enjoy!

Ms. Pantry Raid

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