Homemade Bagels and What I Learned

This weekend, it was finally time. Bagel time. I've been saying, "I'm going to make bagels this weekend!" for like...four weekends in a row now. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedBut, the bagels will have to wait just a minute while I share this common sense quote. Today, I stumbled across this and I thought it was just so simple, honest, and matter-of-fact that I had to share. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I Learned

Duhhhhhhhhh. If you love animals, don't eat them! Would you eat your beloved dog or cat? I hope not. This quote in its plainest offering makes sense, right? Yes. That's about all there is to it. So, thank you Morrissey!

And now, back to bagels. This was my first time making bagels and boy did I learn a thing or two (the hard way). Read this post and you won't make the same mistakes I did. Here's what I learned:

  • Knead the dough until it's smooth and shiny. 
  • Shaping the dough correctly is terribly important.
  • Bagel dough doesn't really rise. 
  • Remove the bagels from the boiling water with a mesh strainer...not two slotted spoons. 

Chewy, dense, and slightly sweet, these bagels are what's up. If you're new to making bagels don't miss out! 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedHomemade Bagels 

Makes 8 Bagels

Notes: If you can't find barley malt powder, barley malt syrup can be used as well. I really can't recommend making the bagels without either. It's what gives bagels that "bageliness". I found my powder at a local health food store, but it can be found online as well. Or, if you're feeling like a rebellious I suppose one could use agave nectar, but seriously just but some barley malt powder or syrup. It's definitely worth it. 

  • 4 cups bread flour (or other high-gluten flour)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. barley malt powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp. additional barley malt powder
  • toppings (we did cinnamon sugar as well as salt bagels)

In a large electric mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and 1 Tbsp. barley malt powder. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedProduce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedAttach the dough hook and using the lowest speed possible (stir), add in the yeast and the water. Mix for about 4 minutes. Increase the speed to the next level (2), and mix for about 10 minutes. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedTurn the dough on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be a bit sticky. Knead until the dough shapes a smooth and shiny ball. 

Divide into 8 equal balls (each about 4 oz.), and place on a baking sheet. Cover with saran wrap and a towel. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Next, roll one of the balls into a log, about the length of your hand. Connect the two ends. The bagel ring should be even in size. Here's the important part; bagel dough doesn't really rise, so be sure to shape the dough to how you want your bagel to look when it's cooked. For example, make sure there isn't a big gaping hole in the middle like mine! The shape of the dough should look like, well, a bagel pretty much. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and place on a baking sheet coated lightly with flour, cover with saran-wrap and place in the fridge for 12-18 hours. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I Learned

Remove the bagel dough from the fridge. Preheat oven to 450 F, and if you have a pizza/baking stone, make sure it's in the oven to preheat as well. If you don't have one that's okay too. Bring a large soup pot of water (about 3 inches) to a roiling boil with 1 Tbsp. of the barley malt powder. Fill a large bowl with cold water. 

Prepare a wire cooling rack for the bagels to be placed on when they are done boiling. Prep any toppings you'd like in a few shallow bowls as well. One at a time, place the dough rings in the bowl of cold water. If they float, they're ready to boil. If not, check again in five minutes.

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedProduce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedWhen the oven is to temperature, the water is boiling, and you have at least 4 ready to boil rings, go ahead and place four in the boiling water. Be sure to keep them submerged with a slotted spoon (as they should float), and boil for 30-60 seconds, or until they are slighted puffed. Remove with a mesh strainer...I don't recommend using two slotted spoons like I did! 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I Learned

Place the boiled bagels on a wire cooling rack and repeat with the other half of the batch. When they've all been boiled and have cooled slightly, coat the top in whatever toppings you'd like.

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedThen, place all the bagels on the pre-heated pizza stone or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 450 F for 15 minutes.

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedRemove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm, and store in an airtight container. 

Produce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedProduce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedProduce On Parade - Homemade Bagels and What I LearnedGood deed of the day: Speak Out Against Walmart's Cruelty to Pigs. Why wouldn't you? You'll see my signature there! It only takes five seconds and ugh, Walmart, don't even get me started...

German word of the day: Bakery --> Bäckerei (pronounced: bake-er-rye) 

Listening to: [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/58610816" params="color=73bd97&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

[yumprint-recipe id='83']Recipe slightly adapted from Cook's Illustrated, so you know it's good. 

The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

I have a different blueberry muffin recipe on Produce On Parade. You can see it here. But I didn't do my homework well enough. Move aside old blueberry muffins because these muffins will top any other blueberry muffin you've ever have tried. Yes, I am making that claim. I will never look for a different base recipe for blueberry muffins. They are that good. I of course "veganized", and "snobbified" this recipe from Cook's Illustrated. If you don't know about Cook's Illustrated then you better go find out about here. I can pretty much credit everything I've ever learned about how to cook well, to my parents and Cook's Illustrated. Cook's Illustrated is a magazine. They also have a site online as well as podcasts! Growing up, my grandparents as well as my parents subscribed to the magazine and I looked forward to it every month. I loved the always changing watercolor illustrations of various fruits and vegetables that was on the back cover. Yet, my favorite part of the magazine was the "Taste Test" part, where they ranked various canned/boxed or jarred food items by taste and affordability. I also loved the "What Is It?" article. Readers send in photos of some random and obscure kitchen gadgets that they found in their great grandmother's kitchen and they are explained in detail what they are and what they were used for. In regards to the images in the magazine, most are all sketched as opposed to actual photos which is really cool. As somewhat of an artist myself, I always cherished that. Though, I don't get the magazines anymore because I use the online subscription.

Don't know the difference between quinoa and couscous? Does chopping an onion take more than 5 minutes? If you're new to cooking, or just looking to better your chef skills, Cooks Illustrated is where to get your start. They even have an online "cooking school". Take a look at their site to see recipes, equipment reviews (which I love!), and taste tests. America's Test Kitchen is under the same umbrella as Cook's Illustrated as well as Cook's Country and they're one of my favorite shows on television. If you've never checked out the show, there's a link to when they air on TV, here. I feel I should note that I am in no way affiliated with them, though I wish I was...I just really think there's a lot to learn from them!

Okay, so let's remember this muffin recipe was inspired by them. They are divine. I made these for our family's August birthday party. Todd as well as my Grandma, Grandpa, Dad and Uncle all have August birthdays so we just have one big celebration towards the end of the month. I will tell you that there was German chocolate (the standard) as well as red velvet cake at the party, but my little brother only wanted the muffins. He kept asking me, "Is it okay if I have another?" I think he had three or four! There are no words to describe how perfect these muffins are.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

There are no words to describe how perfect these muffins are. They are so incredibly moist and fluffy. The wild blueberries lend a robust tartness, the lavender is floral and comforting and the sugar sprinkled on top gives a nice, sweet crunch. I don't know if I'll be able to resist making them again this weekend.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Inspired by Cook's Illustrated

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup granulated vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) vegan sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, wild if you can find them
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lavender, minced
  • extra sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a regular 12 muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Begin by placing the ground flaxseed in a small bowl and whisking in the cold water. Place in the fridge and let rest until called for.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

In a electric stand mixer bowl or a large bowl add the flax egg and the sugar and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute. Next, add the butter and whisk until combined. Then add the vanilla, and finally add the sour cream in two steps, mixing only to combine.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Add the frozen blueberries as well as the lavender to the dry mixture, and toss to coat.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Then, gently fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until they're just combined. Be very cautious not to overmix. There may even be some sprays of flour and that's okay. The batter should be very thick.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Drop an even amount of dough into the muffin pan. Do not flatten or arrange the batter and do not overfill. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes. Rotate the pan at the 15 minute mark.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

The muffins should be somewhat firm and a light golden brown around the edges at 30 minutes.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

Once the muffins are done baking, release them onto a wire cooling rack and stand them up right. Sprinkle with sugar if you like, and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins Produce On Parade - The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins

The Best Lavender Blueberry Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 12
There are no words to describe how perfect these muffins are. They are so incredibly moist and fluffy. The wild blueberries lend a robust tartness, the lavender is floral and comforting and the sugar sprinkled on top gives a nice, sweet crunch. I don't know if I'll be able to resist making them again this weekend.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup granulated vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) vegan sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, wild if you can find them
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lavender, minced
  • extra sugar, for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a regular 12 muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Begin by placing the ground flaxseed in a small bowl and whisking in the cold water. Place in the fridge and let rest until called for.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In a electric stand mixer bowl or a large bowl add the flax egg and the sugar and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute. Next, add the butter and whisk until combined. Then add the vanilla, and finally add the sour cream in two steps, mixing only to combine.
  5. Add the frozen blueberries as well as the lavender to the dry mixture, and toss to coat. Then, gently fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until they're just combined. Be very cautious not to overmix. There may even be some sprays of flour and that's okay. The batter should be very thick.
  6. Drop an even amount of dough into the muffin pan. Do not flatten or arrange the batter and do not overfill. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.Rotate the pan at the 15 minute mark.
  7. The muffins should be somewhat firm and a light golden brown around the edges at 30 minutes.
  8. Once the muffins are done baking, release them onto a wire cooling rack and stand them up right. Sprinkle with sugar if you like, and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container.