February 28th, 2013 3:52 pm by Kelly Garbato

2013-02-20 - VB Bagels - 0017

Holy shit, I did it! I really did it! I made from-scratch bagels that are every bit as delicious as those you’d find in a bakery – crispy and chewy on the outside, with soft, warm, fluffy pillowtop innards – and on the first try, at that! A smug, self-satisfied grin, I’m wearing one. Seriously, if I knew it was this easy, I would have done it years ago – decent bagels being damn near impossible to find in Kansas City.

Turns out that bagels are almost shockingly easy to make: knead the dough, let it rise, shape into bagels, boil, bake, cool. The whole process takes a few hours, but it’s really a no-brainer. If you have ready access to fresh bagels, bully for you! Probably it’s just easier to buy them. But if you’re stuck out in the sticks like moi and craving a taste of New York (home!), this is a game changer/life saver.

The recipe’s from Vegan Brunch, which so far I’m loving. Sadly, there is but one bagel recipe in the whole book, and it’s just plain old plain bagels.* Where are the onion, the sundried tomato, the cinnamon raisin? Hello carb frustration! Help me google, you’re my only hope.

On the plus side, VB includes a number of tips for “doctoring up” vegan cream cheese to make fancy schmancy NYC flavors. In the interest of spring cleaning, I used an old packet of garlic herb seasoning I had sitting around, and it worked like a charm. I’m not really one for plain cream cheese, but the flavored stuff is downright addictive!

* With variations for sesame and poppy seed-topped bagels – basically you just roll the bagels in the seeds prior to boiling them, and then proceed as is. I tried this with minced onion, but most of the onion fell off during the boiling stage. I had more luck sprinkling them on the bagels after boiling – while the bagels are still a little wet – and pressing down gently but firmly to get them to stick. The more you know!

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