This weekend I started baking again, but I started with easy things: cookies whose recipes I know almost by heart, and a cake made from a box mix and frosted with prepared chocolate frosting. But at the end of the day — Sunday, to be specific — I wished I had been able to make bagels, too, and I also realized that I hadn’t made the Friday challah on the first chance I’d had to make the challah. It was time to start the real baking again.
To make it easier on myself, I decided to make the cheese-topped bagels from Week 9, using the bread machine. I had to do quite a bit of searching in my bagel notebook to find that I baked them for 22-25 minutes at 350°F. You know, I think I’d better write that down somewhere.
I didn’t change anything else in the recipe — that I know of — but quite a bit of the flour didn’t get incorporated into the bread dough. Bits of dough also clumped up against the good parts of the dough, and I would up throwing away more dough than I wanted to. But after a 20 minute rise while the water came to a fast boil, the resulting rings behaved very well.
I formed ten bagels from the recipe, and topped six with a blend of three Italian cheeses. I left four of the bagels plain except for the egg-white wash.
I took the bagels out of the oven after 22 minutes, and they looked beautiful — if a little pale. But when I actually touched one, it felt fluffy and undercooked. Back on the sheet and back into the oven they all went, for three more minutes. I had to hope that the extra time wouldn’t turn the shredded cheese to ash.
Maybe I’ll try a new recipe later this week. For now, I’m just happy to have fresh bagels in the house again. And I already have cream cheese at work.