koralleen (koralleen) wrote,

Bucket Bagels

Say you have lost access to every kitchen item that keeps a person who likes to cook reasonably sane during food preparation. My new hero, Mark Bittman, offers a bagel recipe that is utterly foolproof.

3.5 cups of flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, or sugar

These measurements are a rough guide. You don't have measuring implements, so eyeball it. You don't have any of those sweeteners, either, so use honey. Put all this in a food processor or--of course--don't. Clean out the Playdoh bucket and mix it in there with a fork. When it's mixed together well, add

1.25 cups water

until you get a dough that holds together. Knead it for a couple of minutes, adding flour until you get a smooth, tough ball of dough. Cover with a towel and let it rise for a couple of hours.

Punch it down and let it rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 12 pieces (8 for bigger bagels) and let a kid roll these into balls, poke holes in the centers, and flatten them a bit. Cover these and let them rise for a half-hour.

Preheat the oven to 400F. You're supposed to spray water before the baking step to create steam, but that's not going to happen so put a pan of hot water on the bottom rack. Bring a pot of water to boil and, one by one, boil the bagels. When you drop one in the water, it sinks and then takes about a minute to dance up to the surface. After another minute, turn it over and let it boil one more minute. That's about three minutes per bagel which adds up. It is at this step you will say, "Next time I am making 8 bigger bagels rather than 12 smaller bagels. This is a drag." You can put the boiled bagels on a rack to drain but if you don't have a rack you can use a row of forks.

Bake the bagels for twenty minutes and then watch them until they are a bagelly brown. That's it!

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