The thing about Artisan Breads is that you can take a "master dough" recipe and make a large quantity which you can keep in the refrigerator, and from that master dough many different breads can be made. So the night before I threw together the master dough which only took about 10 minutes.
Recipe found in Mother Earth News Magazine (Dec2009/Jan2010) featuring: Healthy Breads in 5 Minutes a Day by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg
5 1/2 Cups of Whole Wheat flour
2 Cups AP flour
1 1/2 tbsp Granulated yeast
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup of vital wheat gluten
4 cups water (100 degrees F)
All the dry ingredients go in together, get a little mix up, then add the water one cup at a time. Once it is all evenly moist its time to rest....Set the dough aside and let it rest for 2 hours or until it begins to collapse.
*I left it in the fridge overnight, which made the dough easier to work with in the morning. The only thing I miss about this recipe is that there is no kneading involved, which is one of my favorite things about baking breads and other yeast based baked goods.
The entire bagel process was suprisingly really easy. Since the dough was prepared the night before I simply pulled off about a grapefruit sized piece and rolled it out to about 1/4 inch thickness. All of the sudden I had a flashback to last weekend when I was making cinnamon rolls as I sprinkled some cinnamon, sugar, and raisins onto the dough. Main difference is that it was a lot less than what goes into cinnamon rolls. So I sprinkled on the cinnamon, sugar, and raisins and the rolled it back up like a log. Using my favorite kitchen tool, a dough knife, I cut the log into six equal pieces approximately 3oz each and reshaped it into a ball. After all of these were cut and shaped they were set aside to rest again for 20 minutes. While the dough was resting the boiling pot was prepped with:
8 qts water
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp baking soda
After letting the dough rest it is time to shape the bagels and begin the boiling process. Once the water has reached a boil, take each ball and poke a hole into it and stretch it out. As you stretch it, you have to keep working around the dough similar to stretching pizza dough so that one part is not thinner than another. When you achieve the shape you want, drop them into the boiling water for two minutes then flip with a slotted spoon for another two minutes. To avoid sticking to each other, I found it easy to stagger them into two separate boiling pots so that they would begin cooking before the next was put in next to it. After boiling, I placed them onto a clean dish towel to pat them dry.
While the bagels were boiling, the oven was getting nice and hot with a baking stone already in there as well as a cast iron skillet in the bottom. With a little corn meal sprinkled on the stone, on the bagels go for the last step of the process. Right before closing the oven, pour a cup+ of hot water into the cast iron skillet to create some steam and shut the door. 20 Minutes later and a little cooling time, breakfast is ready!
All in all I think he did pretty good :) The bagels were delicious.. we have a few things we're going to try for round 2 -getting close to the perfect bagel, but for a Sunday morning after a great weekend they were pretty darn good.
Breakfast was served- Happy Baking!!