This is my first month participating in the Kitchen Challenge organized by Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil. Every month I read about the challenge and consider joining in on the fun. I really wanted to make croissants and macarons a few months ago, but never got around to doing so. July's Kitchen Challenge was to make a batch of homemade bagels, another thing on my long list of things to conquer in the kitchen. Instead of skipping the challenge once again, I decided that this would be the month to participate and overcome my fear of yeast. Over the past few years, I have experimented with yeast but have never had great results. Part of the problem was that I didn't know the difference between dry active yeast and rapid rise yeast. This time I was prepared and went to the store with a list of ingredients for my bagels, including active dry yeast and bread flour (rather than regular all-purpose flour).
After deciding to participate in the challenge, I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect recipe to make. Most bagel recipes take two days to make, including an overnight resting period in the refrigerator. With my busy schedule, I didn't want to spend that much time on one recipe and settled on these Blueberry Bagels which only took a few hours from start to finish. I never knew that homemade bagels could be so easy to make and still taste so good. These blueberry bagels were perfectly soft and chewy. I can't wait to participate in future Kitchen Challenges!Blueberry Bagels
Recipe adapted from Galley Gourmet
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups warm warm (approximately 110 degrees F)
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp lemon zest
1 cup freeze dried blueberries
In a large measuring cup, combine the yeast, granulated sugar and warm water. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes foamy.
In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the bread flour, salt, ground cinnamon and lemon zest. Mix until just combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. You might need to add additional water to the bowl in order for the dough to come together. Knead the dough on low speed for about 10 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic. Remove the dough from the mixer and gently knead in the dried blueberries by hand.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Put the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 hour or until it has nearly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Once the dough has risen, gently press down on it with your hands. Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 pieces of approximately equal size. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and use your fingers to poke a hole in the middle of each ball. Each hole should be about 2 inches in size. Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for another 10-15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop 2 bagels at a time into the boiling water. Boil for 1 minutes then flip each bagel over and boil for another minute. Using a strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them on a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue with the remaining bagels. Bake the bagels for about 20 minutes or until golden brown in color. Transfer the bagels to a wire rack to cool completely.