The Gnocchi gods must be smiling upon me: Potato Gnocchi with Garlic and Parsley

Watermark There’s a good reason when I say that the Gnocchi gods must be smiling upon me. There have been relentless attempts  at making a Potato Gnocchi in my kitchen. The compulsive behavior stemmed from a love for a good Gnocchi and numerous rounds of disasters ranging from a magnitude of 7.5 to 9 on the Gnocchi Richter scale. The first time around the potatoes were over cooked. The next time I just decided to mash them with a fork ,didn’t bother with  potato ricer  (despite having bought  one just for the Gnocchi making event) and had a lumpy mess. There were the eggless recipes which fell apart and  went straight into the trash can…and the list went on, too dense, undercooked, hard and so and so forth. Continue reading

What a Bagel: Easy Breakfast Bagels

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My family is quite the breakfast kind of people.Well most weekdays are a quick brekkie on the go with the usual porridge, fruits, parfait or perhaps just some toast.Weekends are however special. “I’d like a big breakfast please”,is what most often my dear son would request and this is when we pull out all the stops and cook up a storm.This would usually consist of eggs made into omelets or scrambled,sautéed vegetables or hash browns,bacon or sausages and of course homemade  bread that I may have made earlier on.My hubster loves to freeze the bread I make,”It lasts longer and there’s always some when you want it” is his take,all though I prefer to have bread when it’s fresh and hot out of the oven.

I miss my son pottering around the kitchen egging me to bake up something for him.A few weeks before he left for university he said,”Mom how about baking some bagels”?Now I’d been putting off the bagel making process thinking they were way too complicated to attempt and why even bother when you get perfect store-bought ones?Right?

Oh how wrong have I been!

The health conscious and fitness maniac that he is,would often hand me a package containing the bagels and read out all the ingredients that were in it.Emulsifiers,Bromides,Improvers,Food additives and what not.Names that not only difficult to pronounce ,leave alone digest. So on my sons’ persistence and the ramblings ,on what actually went into commercial bagels and breads, did I cave in and decide to bake  a batch.Now I have been baking bread for quite sometime ,but hadn’t gone around  the bagel making process.Oh well how difficult can it really be? And  decided to give the bagels a try.

As with most bread the key ingredients in this recipe are flour,yeast,sugar and salt.And bagel topping of course like pumpkin seeds,onions seeds ,sesame or even a sprinkling of cinnamon works just as great. Most recipes call for strong bread flour,all though I’ve used good old All Purpose and quite happy with the consistency.While kneading the dough don’t worry about it being too hard as this recipe does use a limited amount of water and hence it would seem a tough dough.

Bagel Collage

The key to a good bagel is the boiling of the bagel prior to baking,this sets a good crust.A word of caution, do not over boil.This recipe calls for approximately 30 seconds on either side.Once boiled make sure you drain the bagels well and then sprinkle them with your favorite toppings and go right ahead and bake them.

 

 

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These bagels are so very worth the effort and trust me you will never reach for a store-bought one again.Homemade bagels have now become a delightful treat at our breakfast table.After all who wouldn’t want a fresh and warm bagel right out of the oven? Toasted of course ,with some butter or slathered with cream cheese! Ah just bliss! Nice and crusty on the outside and warm and delicious on the inside.

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Do bake some today!

Go ahead and follow this step by step recipe and you will be delighted with the results.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dried yeast
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

Glaze:

  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon water
  • sesame seeds,Pumpkin seeds, Onion seeds or Cinnamon powder

Directions:

  1. Add the yeast to a bowl and pour 1/4 cup of the lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar.Stir the mixture and keep aside.It should get very frothy in about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Combine the remaining water and flour, the activated yeast ,remaining sugar and salt and form a smooth dough.
  3. If the dough seems hard,you may add about 30-50 ml warm water and knead for about 10 minutes.
  4. The dough should be pliable ie smooth and elastic and not hard at all.You may dab your fingertips in warm water and smoothen out the dough.
  5. Oil a bowl and add the dough and turn it around to coat it with oil.Wrap the bowl with cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
  6. After it has risen for an hour,punch down the dough and knead further for one minute.
  7. Divide into 8 rolls.
  8. Lay the dough balls onto a well floured surface for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Then flatten each dough ball gently and make a hole in each and widen them a little bit.
  10. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest further for 10 minutes.
  11. Heat water in a wide pan.Add 1 teaspoon sugar and bring it to a boil.
  12. In the meantime grease a baking tray and Pre heat the oven to 200 C for about 20 minutes.
  13. Drop each bagel into the boiling water.Boil on each side for about 30 seconds and flip it over and repeat the same.
  14. Remove the Bagels and lay them on a kitchen towel to drain well.
  15. Whisk the egg white and water well.Brush onto each bagel.
  16. Sprinkle with your favorite toppings.
  17. Bake in the center of the oven for about 22-25 minutes.
  18. Transfer and cool on a wire rack.

Note: Bagels are best eaten within a couple of days of baking.However you may freeze them and toast as and when required.