I am quite a fan of bagels and was really excited to try them with the BBAC. I have never made them before so I pretty much went in blind. Now it should be noted…my dad is not the biggest fan of bagels.
Peter Reinhart does a great intro to these bagels as he describes his love for the perfect New York Bagel. Unfortunately for me, I suppose, I have not had the good luck to have a bagel in New York. So I think that I did not have too high a standard. This turned out to be a good thing.
I usually find bagels too dense and hard for me. I am not a fan of the double calories found in bagels either. Now I don’t count calories, but I do acknowledge they exist, we have a love hate relationship, calories and me. So I was interested to see how these bagels would turn out for me.
I decided to make them as a precursor to my mom’s birthday (it was on Victoria day, do you have Victoria Day in the US?). I made them for Sunday, the day before. I again rediscovered my love for kneading and making bread. It is just so satisfying and obviously a ridiculously good work out! The process went pretty smoothly. My only error was that I overproofed the dough before putting it into the fridge to retard overnight. There is a float test involved, and instead of coming to the surface in 10 seconds, mine floated right away. I knew that there was something not totally right as they looked a bit tooo puffy. I had a feeling they would flatten out. Oh Well!
The next morning I got ready to boil and bake. I topped my bagels with poppy seeds. During the boiling it again became evident that they had overproofed when they floated immediately once more. They definitely didn’t puff up and look like commercial bagels. However, at this point I had not seen the more successful results of other BBA’ers and I was perfectly satisfied with what I saw.
The final product was definitely a bit flatter than a regular bagel and had more air bubbles, much less dense than usual. Yet, this turned out perfect for us! We don’t really like super dense bagels anyways and these were soft and perfect. All’s Well that End’s Well!
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Posted in Breakfast, tagged Breads on May 12, 2009|
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So…Mother’s day. I know it just passed but this is the first chance I’ve had to post! Back to the day. My mom to me is the most amazing person I know. She is the rock in my family and I don’t know what we would do without her. Honestly, she keeps the peace between everyone. I knew that for Mother’s day I wanted to do something special, because she needs a break.
With so many recipes on the internet and in my cookbooks, you can imagine what a hard time I had choosing one! I am as always a huge overachiever so I wanted to make a million things, unfortunately most things I wanted to make required the oven and the poor oven can’t make more than one item at a time. Oh the choices. So I looked around my kitchen and what do I find but my heart shaped cookie cutter. MUST use it. I also know that my mom doesn’t want anything tooooooo sweet.
So. I decided on French Toast eggs in a basket, or as I call them, “Eggs in a French Basket” *hehe*. These were so fun to make! I had to make some part of it sweet so while I didn’t put any sugar in the soak for the large toast, when I dipped the cut out hearts I added maple syrup and cinnamon to the eggs and milk. YUM!
I couldn’t just leave it with that. So I cut up some mango slices from these wonderful mangos we had just bought and I melted some dark chocolate in a double boiler. I mixed the dark chocolate with some homemade granola that I had made the week before. It was like a little mango parfait with chocolate granola.
Finally, I made my mom her favourite cappuccino. Luckily our espresso machine had been fixed by then (it was torture when it was gone). I also have a little french press style foamer that I use for the cappucino and it’s my mom’s favourite part.
She was so happy when my dad and I came to her with breakfast in bed. The meal was great and my dad and I brought our plates up too so we had a little family gathering in the morning on their bed. It was really sweet, peaceful, and restful. It was the perfect start to the day.
Eggs in a French Basket
6 slices bread, artisan bread is best! (day old)
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350F, line a deep dish pan with a piece of parchment, use two pans if all slices won’t fit on one
Using a cookie cutter (I used a heart) cut out the centre of each slice of bread and don’t throw out the centres.
Whisk together 4 eggs and 1/2 cup milk (you may need to add eggs and milk, depending on how much the bread absorbs). Dip each slice of bread into the egg/milk mixture and place into the pans (not the centres). Crack an egg into the centre of each piece of bread. Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and the eggs are set.
Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat. To the rest of the egg/milk mixture, add the maple syrup and cinnamon. Dip the centres into this mixture and fry on the pan until golden brown on both sides.
Serve together with fruit or any side!
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Aah. My first cooking ‘disaster’. Now, I have to say that these muffins still tasted great. My only issue was that they were too sweet for my tastes. But everyone else in the house adored them!
This recipe was taken from Sass & Veracity who had beautiful big top muffins that I had to try! What was fascinating for me were her pictures where the batter was mounded. It always says fill 2/3 of the way and I always fill more because I’m not that picky about those measurements and I just bake it a bit longer if necessary. So a recipe where I could fill it over the top excited me a lot.
I made the batter and it was nice and thick. I had added my plums and my almonds in the middle of combining the batter so that I didn’t overmix. All the rules were followed. And then came the problem.
Of course I didn’t realize it was a problem until much later but the issue was where to put the batter. I have these really great silicone muffin cups that don’t need to be buttered or oiled. The muffins always come right out. I never had much luck with muffin tins, no matter how much I tried I always broke the muffins on the way out (I really need to practice that some more, I have to get over these sticking fears!). So the silicone cups were where I mounded my batter.
Interesting Fact: for muffins to have a big top, there must be area for them to spread horizontally. Only when I took the muffins out of the oven did I realize this. Since my wonderful silicone cups had no horizontal surface as opposed to a regular muffin tin, instead of spreading out, the muffins spread down. According to my cousin, these tasty treats looked more like old fashioned scones than muffins.
Another interesting little part was that they were so moist that I had to cool them much longer than normal to get them out of the cups safely (normal? bedause of the moisture from the plums?). So I don’t know if I will do this recipe again. I want to try it in a regular muffin tin and with some adjustments, like less butter, part brown sugar, part whole wheat flour, and maybe something else. Actually, that post may come sooner rather than later since my sister would like me to make some morning treats for her coworkers. 😀
Almond Big Top Muffins
(From Sass & Veracity)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 cup milk at room temp
1 cup sour cream at room temp
2 eggs room temp
1 egg yolk room temp
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 plums, chopped
3/4 cup blanched almond slivers
Preheat oven to 350F
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. In a separate bowl combine sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream, and milk.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Halfway through mixing add in plums, almond slivers, and almond extract.
Line or spray a 12-cup muffin tin and fill will batter mounding it on top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and tops are golden brown.
Cool in pan placed on baking rack for about 20 minutes before removing muffins (I may have missed this step!)
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