Saturday, July 4, 2009


Recently, my grandmother bought Dewey and me a stand mixer (thanks Barbie!). One of my goals this year is to get more comfortable working with yeast. I've made bagels and pretzels a few times before, but I'm not very confident doing it. So Dewey and I knew exactly what we wanted to make first with the stand mixer's dough hook.

These are some bagels we made earlier this year with the recipe from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. This is the first time that cookbook has let me down. The instructions were both too complicated and not detailed enough. They suggested spritzing the oven with water to create steam, but failed to mention that the
water mixed with the yeast should be warm. They turned out too tough and unusually brown.

But with our new mixer in hand, we tried the recipe from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. And this recipe turned out perfect for us. Crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. And they're nicely browned (but not brown), too. Just perfect.

And this recipe has fewer steps as well. Only one rise instead of two. No fussy water in the oven. And Isa's instructions for shaping the bagels worked out much better for us.

Now I'm excited to try more yeast recipes. I think focaccia is next on my list.


Barbara said...

I'm also experimenting with yeast, with attitude....oops, I meant altitude. I now have a breadmaker, that almost seems like cheating, but it is getting me started. I used to bake challah when Dewey was young, but got away from it. Is there a vegan challah? The bagels look great! Can't wait to see your focacia!

mollyjade said...

There's actually a tradition of eggless challah called "water challah". It's obviously not as rich as egg challah. I've made it before (with raisins) and really liked it, though.

There are also a few vegan recipes that try for the richness of egg challah. Though I haven't tried any of them. Maybe that should be my next thing to bake...

Chile said...

Mmm, they look great! Haven't made bagels in years, but you make me want to.

Evelyn said...

I am intimidated by yeast, so I cheated and got a breadmaker. It was my mom's, and I don't know if I would pay for a new one (they're pretty pricey, I think), but it makes baking really easy. My homemade pizza and focaccia are fantastic.

mollyjade said...

We're using a stand mixer to do most of the mixing and kneading, so we're probably cheating just as much.

DO you bake right in the bread machine or move things to the oven?