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Cranberry Orange Bagels


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I've made my mama proud. There was a time when she thought I'd never be a breadmaker. How could I knead bread when I couldn't stand to touch the flour? You see, I always loved being in the kitchen, loved everything about baking... except for the flour. Some people hate the sound of fingernails on a chalk board... for me it was the feel of flour. My mom? breaking open a head of lettuce. My sister? chewing on wood (i.e popsicle sticks) It's different for everyone but for me it was flour. But in my mind I didn't need to overcome it, I just needed to get around it. So while I was in college my mom got me a bread machine. I was thrilled. I used it for years. But it never really came close to producing the type of results I knew I could have with the real homemade thing. So I dove in with trepid hesitation and learned to suck it up. I still don't like the feel, but I sure as heck love the results. And hey, what better way to relieve some pent up frustration than some good old fashioned kneading? Yes, this picture is mine... those are MY bagels and I'm proud :)

Cranberry Orange Bagels

1 cup plus 4 Tbsp. warm water (70-80 degrees) divided
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour... it's what I had on hand)
1 pkg. (or 2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. cornmeal

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. warm water (110-115 degrees). Add cranberries, brown sugar, orange peel, salt and cloves; mix well. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes, adding more flour as needed.

Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into 7-8 balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-inch hole; stretch and shape into an even ring. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Fill a dutch oven 2/3 full with water; add sugar and bring to a boil. Drop bagels 2-3 at a time into boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Whisk egg white and remaining 2 Tbsp. water; brush over bagels. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bagels 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Toast lightly and serve with my very own honey orange cream cheese (mix 1/4 cup cream cheese with 1 Tbsp. honey and 1 tsp grated orange peel and spread 1 Tbsp. mixture over warm bagel.)

*Bagel recipe courtesy of Taste of Home Healthy Cooking**Bread machine instructions can be provided upon request!*


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