I love my complex carbohydrates. Fill me with gluten and throw me on the couch and I'll happily wallow in flour filled happiness. Whilst I love the challenge of cooking for those with special requirements (no meat? no problem!) I myself would struggle to be gluten-free. I just can't relate. I can restrict my carb intake if I'm on a body-tightening mission, but I love bread, and I love carbs and I really love bagels.
The weekend before, I instinctively photographed my scrambled eggs and avocado on sourdough while enjoying an Aro Cafe flat white, and my friend who was visiting said - surely you can't put scrambled eggs on your blog again. So, something new and sweet and different was required, and bagels were it. They're actually not as time consuming or annoying or difficult as you may think. And the results are worth it! Ok, they're a little time consuming. But if you like getting high on dough and caffeine and sunshine on a Sunday morning then that shouldn't be a problem.
I was inspired by Kate's sunday fun happy bagel times blog post a few months back, and upon reading the recipe from Sophisticated Gourmet, I realised I had all the ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, active dried yeast) and they sounded pretty simple. Sometimes, when I get an idea in my head, or a picture in my brain, or a food-related vision, I will not rest until it is realised!
And so bagels on Sunday were made.
It was a couple of weeks back, and I was up nice and early, and trying to be quiet because of the hangovers in the house. I kneaded out the dough and headed down to the Aro shops for a coffee and the paper while my dough was rising. Once home again, in my sunny kitchen the boiling then baking process began.
I used the same new york style bagel recipe as Kate did, from Sophisticated Gourmet, which you can get to by clicking on the link. I followed the instructions exactly, and having never made bagels before, found it really easy. The bit where you roll out dough balls I just did on my kitchen bench, and as you can see from my results I didn't get a totally smooth dough, and thus not a smooth topped bagel. I think the textured look just adds character though, and although I left mine plain, you could sprinkle yours over with sesame or poppy seeds or rock salt.
Cream cheese is essential. I also had envisioned the fresh strawberries I got from the market, and some home made lemon curd smashed together on a bagel. And so it happened. I used my go-to lemon curd recipe which is whipped up in ten minutes flat using a whisk and a microwave. For the non-sweet-toothed breakfast lovers, I can also highly recommend avocado, tomato, cream cheese, a teency squeeze of lemon, some cracked pepper and some freshly torn basil.
Fresh bagels, fresh coffee, fresh attitude, fresh face. Could these be the sunday mornings of my future? Ooh I don't know if we'll be going that far. It is the silly season after all. But! Bagels are a satisfying Sunday morning activity and with such good instructions, deceivingly easy. And apart from the fact that one friend commented on a photo that these looked like an offensively named cousin of a what a bagel should look like, I was pretty darned happy with the result.