When I first got to try Melt, I fell in love with how fantastic it worked in my favorite chocolate chip cookie. Who knew a butter substitute could taste so good? After that it because my go-to butter substitute and I even participated in a challenge where I used it for all my butter needs for a week. Never heard of Melt? It is a healthy butter substitute made with “good” fats like coconut butter and virgin coconut oil. It even comes in honey and chocolate flavors! Unfortunately, I was unable to find those fun flavors in stores near me, but I gladly snagged some more of the regular.
After so much success using Melt as a substitute in baking and cooking in the past I decided to post about it as a condiment on a nice, warm, toasty cinnamon-raisin bagel. And since it is Single Serving Sunday, it’s a recipe for just ONE bagel! Because if you are like me, you sometimes don’t need an entire batch of bagels, or don’t have room for them all in your freezer to save for later. So I whipped up this one bagel and immediately scarfed it down with some Melt spread on top.
This month Kitchen Challenge, organized by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil, tackled the yeasty creation of bagels! This challenge wasn’t too daunting for me because I have made a few different kinds of bagels in the past, but I was excited to try out something new.
After my happy experience with Greek yogurt in pizza dough I thought to myself, why stop there? So I made Greek yogurt bagels complete with an everything bagel topping. Just like the pizza dough I was incredibly pleased with the outcome. They were the perfect texture, not dried out, and of course who can argue with an everything topping? I enjoyed eating them for breakfast smeared with peanut butter, for lunch as the bread of a sandwich and even made a pizza bagel for myself one night for dinner. Oh the versatility of bagels!
What should I add Greek yogurt to next? Pita bread? English muffins!?
In other news, 10 weeks from today I will be defending my dissertation and hopefully get to stamp “PhD” after my name! I am totally freaked out and nervous but excited at the same time. Now all I gotta do is wrap up lab work, finish at 100ish page novel on my research and find a job! Oh and be a bridesmaid in two weddings. I’m warning you, this blog might endure some pretty interesting recipes in the meantime. I’m thinking a long the lines of something related to the petri dish cookies and fat kid food.
For The Secret Recipe Club this month, I had Nicole of I am a Honey Bee. She actually had my blog in February and made my Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken so it was fun to return the favor, especially since I read her blog already and always like what I see. She also does Thirsty Thursdays posts with Amanda of Fake Ginger and I almost made her Red, White, and Blue Sangria, because it would be the perfect Fourth of July drink.
That was until I saw the recipe for these Everything Bagel Bites. I love making homemade bagels but shaping them is sometimes a pain. This recipe avoids that by cutting them into nuggets. However, it also results in a dangerously poppable treat as I downed 6 before I even knew what happened. I was just standing in my kitchen testing them out before photographing and could not stop! Pairing them with a bacon-scallion cream cheese dip just enhances this effect.
As a side note: I have discovered one benefit to the summer heat – letting dough rise outside! Yup, I set the dough for these bagel bites outside to rise, covered and in the shade. I am a genius.
The idea for these bagels spawned from reading a post on A Beautiful Mess, where Emma mentioned that her favorite bagel was from Panera – a peanut butter and banana bagel in fact! I never had the chance to try this gem, as it has been discontinued, but decided to take on this challenge of recreating what I imagine they would have been like. The execution of making these bagels however, poses the problem of adding two wet ingredients to dough, which would just result is needing more flour. But I have made bagels using pumpkin puree in the past and therefore substituted with mashed banana and used PB2’s powdered peanut butter instead.
I had hoped for a very obvious flavor, but the result was more subtle and I may need to try folding in real peanut butter for a swirl or try peanut butter chips. Or maybe my desire for a super peanut buttery-banana-y bagel is unrealistic, and this is as close as it gets. Don’t get me wrong, these were wonderful bagels! I wouldn’t be sharing them on my blog if they were not, just not a “wow that’s an explosion of peanut butter-banana flavor”. That response might be reserved for moister items such as muffins and blondies. To compensate, these were particularly good with a smear of Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. Peanut butter on top of peanut butter – that’s just how I roll!
Actually, I recently discovered that cake batter flavor exists, and upon searching their website while writing this post found both banana and peanut butter flavorings. I feel like it would be a cop out to use them instead of real banana and peanut butter, but maybe a couple drops would get this bagel flavor up to the next level. What are your thoughts?
Now I KNOW you have leftovers from yesterday. Whether you have some from what you cooked, or from what people who cooked sent you home with to minimize the amount of leftovers they have to eat. Therefore, there is absolutely not reason you shouldn’t take advantage of this lazy Friday and make bagels with that leftover pumpkin puree you never figured out what to make with. Who needs Black Friday shopping? Not me! I’m a Cyber Monday kind of girl.
I’ve always longingly awaited the fall season when it comes to bagels, because that’s when Einstein Bros finally start making their pumpkin bagels and cream cheese schmear (I also really like their pumpkin schmear on a cinnamon-sugar bagel). So I finally decided it was time to make my own pumpkin bagels, since I already attacked the pumpkin cream cheese last fall.
But I couldn’t just make the same cream cheese spread again, I had to try this new one I saw that uses up even more leftovers – cranberry sauce! You mix the cranberry sauce into some cream cheese along with honey, cinnamon, and walnuts. Yea, it’s better than any flavor cream cheese spread I’ve ever encountered. And just like the originator, Jenn of Peas & Crayons, I want to smother it on everything in sight now.
My conference in San Francisco may have been a couple weeks ago now, but I have a story to tell that applies to this post today because it involves blueberry bread. Or at least what I thought was blueberry bread. We were out to eat at a place called The Cosmopolitan (which was delicious by the way) and as was typical of many restaurants, we were given bread prior to our meals arriving. The first slice I tried had little flecks of what looked like pieces of fruit, which I then tried to deduce. Beth and I decided that it must be blueberry after tasting them and I dove in for another piece. That was until the waiter laughed at us saying (to my dismay) that it was not blueberry bread at all, it’s olive. I hate olives. And of course I was then able to taste the olive-y flavor that I numbed from my taste buds while thinking it was blueberry. Curses! I did end up eating more of that bread because it was still good, but suddenly not quite as much after discovering it’s true nature. Stupid olives. At least the waiter admitted that he thought the very same thing when he first started working there.
But these bagels are truly blueberry, I promise. And even though this is only the second batch of bagels I have made at home, I am totally loving homemade bagels. (I’ve made asiago before.) These which I am sharing today were more scrumptious than expected. Obviously I chose to make them thinking they would be good, but didn’t realize how quickly I would devour them. Assured they were in fact blueberry of course ;-).
BLUEBERRY OATMEAL BAGELS
Makes 8 bagels
1 Tbsp instant yeast
2-1/2 cups bread flour
1-1/2 cups oat flour (I used ground up oats)
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
3.5 oz. dried blueberries
2 quarts water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp water
- Combine the first six bagel ingredients in a large bowl, or bowl of your stand mixer, and mix. Knead for about 10 minutes. Add dried blueberries and knead for 5 more minutes. The dough should be stiff and smack the sides of the bowl.
- Remove dough, coat same bowl with cooking spray and replace dough. Roll the dough ball around to coat it in oil. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let the dough sit in a warm place for about 1 hour. The dough should be roughly doubled in size.
- Grease your work surface with cooking spray and turn dough ball out onto the surface. Divide the dough into 8 equals portions (I used my kitchen scale to weigh out equal lumps of dough). Roll each lump into a ball and loosely cover the balls with plastic wrap. Allow the ball to rise for 30 minutes.
- In a wide, shallow pan, combine water with the sugars. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with racks placed on top and bottom 1/3 of the oven.
- To shape the bagels, poke a hole in the middle of each dough ball. Twirl the dough around the index fingers of your two hands until the hole stretches to about 2 inches. Place the newly formed bagel on a parchment or silpat covered baking sheet. Shape the remaining dough balls.
- Drop the bagels, 3-4 at a time, into the simmering water. Boil the bagels for 2 minutes and flip over to boil for another minute. Remove from the water bath with a skimmer/strainer and let cool for a few minutes on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Whisk together egg and water, brush each bagel with the egg wash and sprinkle with rolled oats.
- Bake the bagels for 20-25 minutes (rotating half-way through), or until your bagels are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
Source: Wilde in the Kitchen.
It’s National Bagel and Lox Day! Since I have been meaning to tackle this project for awhile now, I figured what a perfect day to do so! After preparing the dough last night (as you will see in the directions, this is a two day affair), I woke up 45 minutes early and finished these babies off and they were fantastic! The savory flavor of the Asiago was a wonderful change from my usual bagel choices. And the aroma in the kitchen was intoxicating! I served up these bagels with two different kinds of cream cheese: Chipotle Pepper, or Garlic & Chive (recipes at end of post).
As a note, my only issue was not being able to knead the dough with a stand mixer. I have the 5 quart, 325-watt motor (middle sized of the Kitchenaid stand mixers) and it sounded like it was struggling a bit. Didn’t want to ruin my fun kitchen gadget, so I used another tool – my boyfriend. He’s so handy (quite literally in this case)!
1 tsp instant yeast
4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2-1/2 cups water, at room temperature
1/2 tsp instant yeast
3-3/4 cups unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
2-1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp malt powder OR 1 Tbsp dark or light malt syrup, honey or brown sugar (I chose honey)
8 oz Asiago cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp baking soda
Cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add the water, whisking or stirring only until it forms a smooth, sticky batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.
- To make the dough, in the same mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), add the additional yeast to the sponge and stir. Then add 3 cups of the flour and all of the salt and malt. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, slowly working in the remaining 3/4 cup flour to stiffen the dough.
- Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for at least 10 minutes (or for 6 minutes by machine*). Add the Asiago cheese during the last minute or so of kneading, and knead until evenly distributed. The dough should be firm, stiffer than French bread dough, but still pliable and smooth. There should be no raw flour – all the ingredients should be hydrated. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees. If the dough seems dry and rips, add a few drops of water and continue kneading. If the dough seems sticky or tacky, add more flour to achiever the stiffness required. The kneaded dough should feel satiny and pliable but not be tacky.
- Immediately divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (I got 12 pieces that were just under 6 oz each). Form the pieces into rolls.
- Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
- Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil. Proceed with shaping the bagels: Push a hole through the center of the roll with your thumb and stretch out the hole to 2-1/2 inches in diameter, making sure that the resulting ring has a fairly even thickness all the way around.
- Place each of the shaped pieces 2 inches apart on the pan. Mist the bagels very lightly with the spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the pans sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Check to see if the bagels are ready to be retarded in the refrigerator by using the “float test”. Fill a small bowl with cool or room temperature water. The bagels are ready to be retarded when they float within 10 seconds of being dropped into the water. Take one bagel and test it. If it floats, immediately return the tester bagel to the pan, pat it dry, cover the pan, and place it in the refrigerator overnight (it can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days). If the bagel does not float, return it to the pan and continue to proof the dough at room temperature, checking back every 10 to 20 minutes or so until a tester floats. The time needed to accomplish the float will vary, depending on the ambient temperature and the stiffness of the dough.
- The following day (or when you are ready to bake the bagels), preheat the oven to 500 degrees with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the better), and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer nearby.
- Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit (they should float within 10 seconds). After 1 minute flip them over and boil another minute. While the bagels are boiling, sprinkle the same parchment-lined sheet pans with cornmeal or semolina flour. Sprinkle the bagels with the shredded Asiago as soon as they come out of the water.
- When all the bagels have been boiled and topped, place the pans on the two middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately 8 minutes, then rotate the pans, switching shelves and giving the pans a 180-degree rotation. (If you are only baking one pan at a time, keep it on the center shelf but still rotate 180 degrees.) After the rotation, lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees and continue baking for about 8 minutes, or until the bagels turn golden brown.
- Remove the pans from the oven and let the bagels cool on a rack for 15 minutes or longer before serving.
*I could not use my dough hook for this, my motor was starting to wheeze and I didn’t want to ruin my stand mixer (5 quart, 325-watt)! If you have the 6 quart, 575-watt stand mixer it’ll probably work just fine.
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
CHIPOTLE PEPPER CREAM CHEESE
4 oz cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1 Tbsp onion, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
GARLIC & CHIVE CREAM CHEESE
4 oz cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
2 Tbsp chives, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt, to taste
- Blend all ingredients together. Refrigerate in airtight container.
Source (cream cheese): The Spiffy Cookie original