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Well everyone, I did it!
I got through my first Daring Bakers Challenge and I am thrilled with the results. I am not sure bagels are something I would make from scratch again – they are time consuming and so easy to buy, that I am not sure it is time efficient! But I am thrilled with the fact that I was up to the challenge and met it with creativity and fun! This month’s challenge, REAL HONEST JEWISH PURIST’S BAGELS was chosen by Freya and Jenny.

Well my first challenge was not without its tragedies as baking for me generally is, but I was able to overcome them! The first hurdle was when I started the recipe and was proofing my yeast and realized that I did not have enough yeast. So I had to run out to the store for yeast and start all over again. Not much lost – just 6 TBS of honey and some poor little yeast whose dream of being baked into bagels were crushed as they were un-ceremoniously dumped down the drain. Next tragedy was when I started boiling the bagels and the beautiful smooth crust on them began to break down, and they really looked like blobs of cellulite floating in my pot. Not very pretty.

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Thankfully through the baking process they smoothed out and became the beautiful little baked goods they were meant to be!

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The rules of the challenge were simple – follow the recipe, do not add anything to the dough and be creative only with the toppings or the spread inside. We were reminded that this is intended to be a savory baked good – so keep the sweets out of it! So here is my version…

I thought it would be nice to put some nuts into my bagels as I generally enjoy a little crunch and texture with my baked goods. My filling, a balsamic-fig jam with whipped cream cheese and prosciutto dictated my choice of nuts for the topping – Pignoli, or Pine nuts. The combination of tastes and textures worked perfectly and it was a delicious sandwich – every bite of which I enjoyed!

INGREDIENTS:

Balsamic-Fig Jam

½ cup dried figs
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp superfine sugar
2 TBS Spanish Marcona almonds

METHOD:

Place all items in food processor and whirl until well blended. The consistency will be a little chunky – you can make it as chunky as you desire.

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So this is my showcase item for the challenge, but since there were 14 more bagels, I played around with all of them….I just couldn’t help it! I created some strange but tasty varieties such as Pecan w/ Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate Chip and Coconut w/ Tropical Dried Fruit. I plan on making a bagel bread pudding with a few of the sweet ones!

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I had a really fun time making bagels. I think my favorite part was shaping the bagels. There was just something so satisfying about turning a big blob of dough into that cute little bagel shape we all know and love!

I am looking forward to next month’s challenge!
Rock Out Daring Bakers!