Thursday, October 13, 2011

We Love Bread

Fall is in the air. Our daytime temperatures are still reaching into the 80's but at night it's getting down into the 50's, making for wonderful sleeping weather.  When our temperatures start to drop, I head into the kitchen anxious to experiment with recipes I've collected over the summer.

As a kid, I remember my parents buying copies of a newspaper named "Grit".  It was full of rural news, quilting and sewing patterns and recipes.  The newspaper is probably no longer being printed, but I found a magazine: Grit Country Skills Series Guild to Homemade Bread on a local newsstand and have been reading the recipes and selecting the ones I want to try.

We love bread whether it be biscuits, cornbread, hushpuppies, hot rolls, homemade loaves or bagels. 

There are several good recipes for bagels in the magazine so today I'm testing their Jalepeno Bagels.  There are plenty of peppers left on the plants outback so it's a good way to use some of them before we get a frost.

Commercially made bagels are not "real" bagels. They're steamed and not boiled.  Traditionally, bagels are boiled before they go into the oven.  This process serves three purposes:  it sets the shape and kills off some of the yeast in the outer layer so that the bagel doesn't expand too much when it's baked; it effects the starches on the surface so that you get the shiny coating; and it activates the yeast in the center of the dough so you'll get the chewy texture.

I've read that "an unboiled bagel is just a roll with a hole".  And if you've ever had a homemade bagel or are lucky enough to have a bakery nearby that makes traditional bagels, you know what I mean.  We have no local bakery in our town and the only bagels available are in the local grocery store--and they're pretty lame.

My bagels are mixed, shaped and resting right now.  In a few minutes I'll head back into the kitchen to finish the baking/boiling process and have them ready by the time Fred gets home this afternoon.  He loves hot peppers and other spicy foods so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my bagels will be something he'll enjoy.

If they turn out satisfactorily, I'll post the recipe on here with the instructions and some photos so you can give it a try!

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