The Solitary Cooks- Lets Bake, Bagels!
I want to preface this by saying, I have never made a bagel in my life. I knew they would probably be challenging but I have complete trust and faith in Chef Cynthia’s recipes. I was a bit scared going into it, fear of the unknown I guess. I have become comfortable with baking simple bread but a bagel, not so much. I was immediately confounded by the addition of VWF (vital wheat gluten), I had never heard of it before and wasn’t sure about its role in the bagel. I live in NYC and we know a good bagel when we bite into it. I usually run to the local bagel store when I need a bagel fix. This challenge intrigued me and making bagels is on my bucket list, so I dove in head first. I decided to cut the recipe in half and got all my ingredients together, I felt very organized. Thank goodness for the Chef’s detailed instructions with pictures even, but despite that I still ran into a snafu and it effected the outcome of my bagels. Don’t get me wrong, they are amazingly delicious they just aren’t very pretty. As I was mixing the dough I noticed it seemed dry, the instructions detail what the dough should be doing every step of the way and mine wasn’t doing it. I tried my own quick fix which really didn’t help, I added a little water and a pinch of flour to help the dough absorb the liquid but it was too much, too little, too late. I ended up with a dough that was too dry, over kneaded (I think) but the good news is I learned from my mistake. I still trudged forward, determined to make bagels. Because the dough was too dry it would not hold a shape very well. In the end, I made bagels, like I said before they are not pretty but they taste great and I feel as though I have accomplished something I have never done before. I plan on making them again using my new found knowledge. Thanks to “The Solitary Cook” for the hand holding and words of encouragement. I am determined to make a bagel as beautiful as hers.