In many ways Australia is not that different to the United States. In some ways, however, it most certainly is!
Camping was a fantastic past time for my family whilst I was growing up. I use the term camping quite loosely as we started our adventures in a pop-up camper and then moved on to a 5th wheel trailer/caravan. To say we were not exactly roughing it would be an understatement. Our 5th wheeling adventures came complete with beds, shower/toilet facilities indoors, fridge/freezer, stove/oven/microwave, TV and air conditioning. On top of this was some very good eating!
Bagels were our breakfast of choice during these adventures. In preparation for our adventures my mum would pop into Einstein Bros. Bagels and purchase a dozen of these fabulous holey creations. Then each morning we would slather these boiled beauties with cream cheese, jam or maybe some avocado. or smoked salmon
I never really appreciated these bagel eating experiences, or those camping adventures, now looking back however, they are some of the happiest of my life!
When I moved to Melbourne, I never considered the culinary costs only the benefits of such sensational items such as lamingtons, custard tarts, Cherry Ripes, and fish and chips. While all these and more Aussie concoctions have greatly added to my eating enjoyment, there have been losses along the way. Most notable of these, is the beguiling bagel.
The beauty of a bagel became a unicorn like quest – evasive and cloaked in mysterious ambiguity. It too my years to discover a single bagel shop – a little bakery in Surry Hills, then years more to discover bagel mecca. Bagel bliss can be discovered in the area of Caulfield and a small bakery chain called Glick’s.
Why is this area and this chain the ultimate in bagel buying in Melbourne? Glick’s is totally ridgy didge authentic! For those not familiar with Melbourne, Caulfield and surrounding areas have become a hub for all things Jewish. Kosher butchers, Synagogues and importantly Glick’s.
Fabulous, as they are, travelling all the way to Caulfield for a bit of bread (all be it the pinnacle of all things bread related) is a bit of a hike, so I decided to try making the beloved bagel myself.
This recipe is taken directly from the above website, with any alterations denoted by a *.
- 4 C Bread Flour
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (*I used olive oil)
- 2 tsp Instant Yeast
- 1-1/4- 1-1/2 C Warm Water.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it’s really stiff, or you can’t get all the dry flour incorporated. *I used my much loved Kitchen Aid mixer with bread hook attachment for this.
- Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
- Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
- Pre heat oven to 425F/220C.
- Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be! *This is the only part of the recipe which didn’t really work for me, but I was able to shape them so they resembled a bagel.
- Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil (*add 1Tbsp Baking Soda to water to help achieve a darker coloured crust), and grease a large baking tray.
- After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it’s time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
- Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they’re done!
- Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, then get the cream cheese ready, and prepare yourself for a fantabulous treat!
Recipe was very straight forward and easy to follow. Only concerns rose in the mixing/rising phase was that the bagels did not seem to rise/puff much. During boiling and baking, bagels did not brown much, however I have found a tip online to add 1Tbsp of baking soda to assist in the darkening of the crust.
Texture wise, my bagels were a bit denser than those from Glick’s and other proper bagel retailers; however I think this may be a case of perfecting my kneading skills.
Overall, my bagels were a success, especially for a first attempt. I will most definitely be making these sensational bagels again! In fact, I can’t wait to have another go!!!
Happy boiling and baking!
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