We are not eating a lot of bread at the moment. I think that’s wonderful, until I start craving some yeasty goodness. Since going additive-free, I have coped very well with cravings – by which I mean, I’ve had hardly any cravings. Where before I used to crave chocolate and salty snacks, I now hardly ever have cravings. I put this down to the fact that I’m satisfying all of my bodily needs with foods that it can actually understand, before it gets to the point where a craving begins. But my bread craving, I think, is purely psychological. There are few things as deeply comforting as homemade bread, toasted and buttered. Am I making you all crave some bread yet? 🙂
It had been a while since we’d had any bread, and I decided that warranted something kind of special. So, I bring you… spelt bagels (with linseed)! You could use whole wheat and wheat flour, add other grains, change up the seeds, go seed-less…. Whatever floats your boat. And you can also change the wholemeal-white flour ratio to whatever you prefer.
Goodness, they were yummy. I sensibly cut half the batch in half lengthways and froze them for lunchboxes. The other half the batch, we not so sensibly ate!
Bagels are not that diificult. They’re easier to roll than knot rolls, and they only have one extra step of briefly boiling the bagels prior to baking them. They’re exciting, and delicious. And here’s the recipe….
200g spelt grains
300g milk or nondairy substitute (or you could just use water)
25g fresh yeast
40g butter or oil (I used macadamia oil)
450g white spelt flour
10g sea salt
5g raw sugar or honey (not rapadura sugar, this stops the yeast from working)
2 eggs whites (optional)
1) Put spelt grains in TM bowl and mill for 1 minute on speed 9. Set aside.
2) Weigh 200g of the milk (or substitute), plus the yeast and oil into TM bowl. Heat for 3 minutes, 37 degrees, speed 3.
3) Add milled spelt flour, white spelt flour, eggs, salt, sugar and linseed to TM bowl. Knead for 3 minutes on interval speed, adding milk (or substitute) bit by bit if necessary. The humidity, the size of the eggs, your choice of sweetener… lots of variables can affect the moisture of the dough on any given day. I recommend just going by feel. You want the dough to be slightly sticky, but still workable.
4) Once dough has kneaded, turn it out onto a breadmat/baking paper/oiled bowl. Let it rise in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes. My method of choice for rising is to boil the kettle, fill a bowl with boiled water and place it on the bottom of a cold oven, then pop the dough into the oven above the water. This keeps the dough both moist and warm – although if it’s a humid day, this is not necessary.
5) Once dough has risen, fill a large pot with water and turn it on to high heat. Set the oven to preheat to 220 degrees celsius. Prepare a baking tray (line it with baking paper or a bread mat).
6) Divide the dough into 10 portions and roll them into balls. Then take one ball, stick your finger in the middle until you go all the way through the dough ball. With your finger still all the way through the centre of the dough and touching the bench/mat/whatever your dough is on, twirl the bagel around – kind of like your finger is your waist and the bagel is a hula hoop! It’s fun! 🙂
7) Continue with remaining portions of dough. The water on the stovetop should be boiling by the time you finish shaping the bagels.
8) Using an egg flipper or a skimmer, gently place 3 or 4 bagels into the pot of boiling water – do not overcrowd or layer them in there, only put as many as will float comfortable on the surface. Boil for 30 seconds, then flip them over in the water and boil for a further 30 seconds. Again using the egg flipper/skimmer, gently scoop them out of the water one by one and place on the baking tray. Repeat with remaining bagels.
9) -OPTIONAL- Beat the 2 egg yolks and add just a dash of water. Brush this mixture on the top of the bagels. Sprinkle with extra linseeds (or other seeds). I was too lazy was in too much of a hurry didn’t do this step. Still yummy without!
10) Pop them in the oven, and cook for 20 minutes (maybe 22 or 23 minutes) until they are golden brown and that delicious smell of freshly baked bread is wafting through the house.
Use bagels just as you would a regular roll. Make a sandwich, dip it in some soup, serve them toasted with breakfast… I am very partial to bagels with jam and cream cheese, thanks to my years in the US… But I don’t have cream cheese these days. Jam and yoghurt is not a bad substitute, and much better for you.