Just when you thought I was done waxing poetic about the joyous versatility of a toaster oven, we embarked on a bagel adventure. Probably due to the sudden at-home bagel craze evident throughout the blogosphere, a number of our Beijing friends have recently been pumping out these boiled-then-baked-then-toasted brunch staples at home. We were inspired. We wanted to make our own, schmear on an ungodly amount of cream cheese, and stuff ourselves into an enjoyable Sunday carb coma. I was drawn in by the short baking time (10ish minutes) that seemed so very doable in our toaster ovens, and Christine was enraptured with the aesthetic possibilities of decoration (she was salivating over the visuals of pink Himalayan salt and black sesame).
There's little point in writing down a recipe here, as this post is intended to be a photo essay of bagelry. We each made a batch of dough from a mish-mash of the recipes below: Christine from instant yeast, as per the recipe, and me, from my sourdough starter, because hey, why not. Here are a list of quality bagel recipes. Overall, the ease of making bagels caused much joy and hand-clapping in our tiny kitchens and appreciative hugs for our toasters.
- Overnight proofing is best, but no big deal, as it only takes a few minutes to pull the dough together the night before – even if you're quite drunk and don't have a big mixer to help you.
- Bread flour or all-purpose are both fine, we used different flours, and both came out great.
- These are small bagels, and keep them that way (or go even smaller), cause you get a bigger crust to squidgy inside ratio.
- Definitely use parchment paper or oil the pan – these babies STICK!
1. Mixing molasses into the batter. No need for malt syrup, and note to Beijingers, molasses is now available here. Amazing.
2. The sponge is gooey, but the molasses smells great.