Sorry to keep you waiting, but as you can see, I made it safely through the streets of Paris and then back to Germany without any trouble.
I’ll create a post on Paris at some point, but to be honest, I’m still so overwhelmed by the whole experience that I just need a break.
Katie and I returned after an overnight bus trip on Wednesday morning. Wednesday and Thursday were spent showing Katie around Bonn, cleaning and packing bags in preparation for her return to the US.
Katie let me use her kindle to read The Hunger Games. Although I wasn’t too interested in the story when she described it, she encouraged me to read the first two chapters before making a decision. I’m glad she was so persistent because the whole of Wednesday was spent finishing the first book and I am now hooked. Can’t wait to read the second book!
It’s hard to believe that after so much time looking forward to my friends’ visits, they are both back in the US and here I am again with a tiny German kitchen and a list of recipes I want to try.
Over the weekend, I tried two different recipes using my sourdough starters. Both recipes are from a gag-gift that’s actually been more gift than gag (lucky since it’s a cook book!)
A colleague of mine knew I was baking with a home-grown sourdough starter. While at a book sale, she found this 1977 Sourdough Cookery book and bought it for me as a joke.
Well, good recipes are made great with time as the recipes from this cookbook prove.
Today, I’m going to share the recipe I was most excited about, sourdough bagels.
I’ve never made bagels before, and was surprised by how easy they were. Sure, there are a few extra steps compared to regular bread baking, but the additional actions only add about 15 minutes on the total time.
Well worth it when the product is as delicious as these bagels.
So, collect your ingredients and let’s get starter!
Place the sourdough starter, eggs and oil in a large bowl.
Mix together the dry ingredients before incorporating them into the wet.
A sticky, elastic dough will form. Add more flour as needed to create a dough that begins to remove from the sides of the bowl.
Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Let rest and rise until doubled in size.
Split the dough into 8-12 smaller balls. I made 8 large bagels. Gently press a floured finger through the middle of each small dough ball.
I ‘gently’ stretch my dough by swinging it around on my finger while screaming “woo-hoo!”
As you can see, the woo-hoo method worked just fine.
I wasn’t sure how much the dough would rise while resting so made lots of different sized holes in the bagels. The smallish holes made the best final products.
Boil the bagels for 7 minutes before draining and placing on a greased baking sheet.
I sprinkled freshly ground spices and herbs on some of the bagels while they were still wet.
These two were sprinkled with a lavender herb salt.
Here’s the same, beautiful bagel after baking for 25 minutes.
This lovely bagel is dressed in a freshly ground sea salt, chili and orange peel seasoning mix.
Immediately, I gobbled it up with butter.
Over the last few days, I’ve been enjoying the bagels for breakfast.
Toasted plain bagel with butter, cinnamon and sugar.
Perfect for an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.
If you are interested in sourdough baking, I recommend the following websites for step by step instructions on creating a sourdough starter at home.
Lucky for me, both sourdoughs took off with fantastic fermentation. I’m now alternating between each healthy sourdough variety for my baking.
Don’t be afraid of sourdough baking, as you can see from this recipe, it can be a lot of fun!
From Sourdough Cookery by Rita Davenport
1 cup sourdough starter
3 Tablespoons cooking oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 gallon water plus 2 Tablespoons sugar for boiling (I used 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. salt rather than sugar)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine sourdough starter with eggs and oil. Mix together flour, salt and sugar. Add to starter mixture. Add enough additional flour for the dough to leave the sides of the bowl.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary.
- Cover with a damp cloth. Set in a warm place free from drafts until doubled in size.
- Turn out onto floured surface and divide into 8-12 pieces (depending on the size you’re after.) Shape each piece into balls. Punch a hole in the center with a floured finger. Form a doughnut shape by gently enlarging the hole, working each bagel into a uniform shape.Cover and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
- Add sugar (or baking soda and salt) to water and bring to a boil. Drop each bagel into the boiling water one at a time. Cook for 7 minutes, turning once. Drain; place on greased cookie sheets.
- Bake at 375 F (191 C) for 25-35 minutes. Bagels should be golden brown and crusty.
Herb Bagels- Prepare bagels as above, except combine 2 teaspoons dried marjoram with dry ingredients.
Onion Bagels- Prepare bagels as above, except add 1 teaspoon dried minced onions to dry ingredients.