Posts tagged ‘bread’

November 9, 2011

Whole Wheat Bagels

Before you brush me off as a crazy bread-making food blogger and tell me you could never make your own bagels, hear me out:

I’ve never been good with baking things that involve rising.  I’m one of those girls who can’t stick to a recipe if my life depends on it.  I like to swap things out and healthify things to the greatest degree possible – which doesn’t always work when yeast and chemistry are involved. 

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I don’t even eat bagels.  Well, that is, unless they’re gluten-free.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re delicious!  My body just doesn’t respond well to wheat or yeast, so bagels are sort of out the question for me.  Ben – on the other hand – would scarf down multiple bagels every day if he could. 

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[If I could give Ben an endless supply of bagels, he’d never leave… Winking smile]

Good quality bagels can get pretty pricey, and there are often strange ingredients involved, so when I saw what looked to be a simple recipe for them in this month’s issue of Cooking Light, I thought, I wonder… 

As always, I adapted the recipe to our liking [read: I made them healthier] by using 100% whole wheat flour [if you’re not so daring you can also use a mixture of whole wheat and white], swapping a heaping 3/4 c of white sugar for 2 Tbsp of raw sugar, and knocking out half the salt. 

I know the thought of making your own bagels is overwhelming, but I encourage you to try this recipe!  They really don’t take as long as you’d expect to make and they’re really good.  I woke up with Ben at 5:30am to make these bagels, and by 7:15 he was telling me how much he loved them on his way out the door… not bad for baked goods!  Still, I know what you’re thinking: as if adapting recipes and taking photos of everything I eat doesn’t make me weird enough, I woke up before the sun to make these bagels? 

What can I say?  I wanted to surprise Ben with fresh, hot bagels for breakfast! [I’m kind of obsessed with him…]

Needless to say, he was pleasantly surprised! He’s eaten at least two bagels a day since I made this batch, which means I better get started on the next… Winking smile

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Whole Wheat Bagels

[ingredients]

  • 2 c warm water [warm to the touch, or 100-110 degrees]
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 28.5 oz [or about 6.5 c] whole wheat bread flour – divided [I used 365’s 100% Whole Wheat Flour – you’ll want to weigh this out if at all possible]
  • 1 Tbsp brown rice syrup [I used this in place of barley malt syrup, but it can be omitted]
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

  • Cooking spray
  • 12 c water
  • 2 Tbsp raw sugar

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Combine 2 cups warm water with the yeast in a large bowl [if you’re lucky enough to own a stand mixer + dough hook, set it up in there].  Let the mixture sit for about five minutes, or until bubbles rise to the surface. 

In the meantime, weigh out 28.13 oz [about 6.25c] of whole wheat flour and place it in a bowl with the salt and syrup.  Reserve the extra .12 oz [or .25c] of flour for later. 

Once your water and yeast mixture is ready to go, mix the flour, salt, and syrup into the bowl using a dough hook on low speed for about six minutes [I used a hand-held mixer that had a small dough-hook attachment and it worked wonderfully, but you could also go old-school and mix by hand!]. 

Place dough onto a floured surface and knead for a couple minutes [the dough should be smooth and elastic], adding a Tbsp at a time of the remaining .25c of flour to keep your hands from sticking. 

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[told you it was still dark out]

Form dough into a big ball, coat a large bowl with cooking spray, and place the dough into the bowl – flipping the ball to coat both sides with spray. 

Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes [I warmed the oven, then turned it off and placed the dough inside to rise]. 

Once 30 minutes have passed, turn your dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 equal portions [I split it in half first, then into sixths]. 

Roll each portion into a ball, then press a hole through the middle with your finger and gently pull/roll the dough into a bagel shape with about 1 1/2’’ hole in the middle. 

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Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray and place bagels onto the sheet as you finish them.  Lightly spray the tops of the bagels with spray as well, then cover your bagels with cooking spray and let them rise for another 10 minutes [this time they won’t rise much]. 

While the dough is rising, bring 12 cups of water and the raw sugar to a boil in a dutch oven or wide pot. 

I found it easiest to do this process in two 6-bagel batches since I have a small oven, so we’ll just worry about making six bagels at a time from here…

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and prepare for the cooking process:

Lower three bagels at a time into the boiling water and cook for about 30 seconds [the bagels should float], flip and allow to cook another 30 seconds. 

Place the boiled bagels onto a wire rack lightly coated with cooking spray [now’s the time to add poppy/sesame seeds if you so desire] and repeat for the other three bagels. 

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Transfer the six bagels onto your parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 450 degrees for about 7-10 minutes, or until golden [you don’t want them to be too crispy just yet because they’ll still get toasted before eating]. 

Repeat the process for the second half of bagels. 

Let cool on wire racks, then store in an airtight baggy in either the fridge or freezer.

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Enjoy!  Makes 12 delicious, whole grain bagels.  No creepy additives or unnecessary salt/sugar. 

Do baked goods scare you too?  I’m fine with cookies and even pies, but things that have to rise make me nervous! 

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

March 24, 2011

Omnivorous

It’s already Thursday of furlough+Spring Break for me, and it just hit me that I have a paper due tomorrow for my Human Behavior class – I haven’t even thought about a topic yet!  Disappointed smile

Ah well. Not even impending papers can stifle my current blissful state. I needed this break and have been filled with gratitude every single day for the opportunity to rejuvenate and get energized for what just might be my – busiest ever – last month of work for a while.  [In case you missed it, I finally got word of someone being hired for my position – which is good news!  We’re hoping to get them in the office around the middle/end of April!].

While it would have been nice to spend my time in the water and at the beach, Mother Nature had different plans for me this week.  Aside from starting my cycle, the wind has been insane since Monday – which doesn’t make for a fun time at the beach anyway.  That means I’ve spent much of my time indoors this week, which seems to have been exactly what I needed as I end my 25th year Smile.

I’ve taken time this week to reflect on many things (one of which was finishing what I started) and I can honestly say that I feel much more at peace with myself than I have in a long time. There’s so much up in the air for us right now [my job ending soon, grad school practicum, Ben’s position not working out, having to move soon] that it’s been overwhelming for a control freak like myself.  I needed this time to remember how perfect and meaningful everything that happens in my life truly is. And I’m ready for the greatness that’s about to unfold in my life.  I’m taking it on whole-heartedly, even if I’m not sure what it looks like just yet!

While I do enjoy writing, much of my reflection happens while I’m keeping my hands busy with creation [cooking, jewelry-making, etc.].  I’ve felt so fortunate to spend so much time in the kitchen this week… I made so much food by Tuesday that Ben, the bottomless pit, said he felt like he couldn’t keep up!  Don’t worry, we froze quite a bit for the busy times ahead Winking smile.

I’ve said before that I don’t typically eat much meat because I only like to eat meat if I’m sure it’s not tortured flesh (i.e. I have to  do some serious research beforehand, unless it’s coming from someone I know), but that ultimately I listen to my body’s cues on when to eat meat.  This week I was feeling a little anemic, so I decided to get some ground chicken breast.  I got home and opened up the Joy of Cooking, and off I went.

I made these burgers using mango chutney (partially because we had some in the fridge and partially because it sounded amazing) and a bunch of veggies that happened to be in the fridge at the time (because, as Ben and I have agreed, spinach is a wonder food that can somehow be cooked into anything).  They came out super moist and yummy, and I froze half the batch so that I can easily defrost a patty whenever I feel my body needs the extra boost of iron and protein.

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Chutney Chicken Breast Burgers

[adapted from the Joy of Cooking]

[Ingredients]

  • 1 lb ground chicken breast [you can also grind it yourself using this technique]
  • 1/4 c prepared chutney [I used Patak’s hot mango chutney]
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 c spinach, packed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • salt + pepper to taste

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Preheat the oven to broiler setting [or prep the grill].

Process the veggies until they’re in bits, but not mushy.

Mix together all the ingredients.

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Shape into patties of your desired size [I made eight palm-sized patties].

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Broil for about 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip the patties and broil for another 4-5 minutes, just until cooked through.

Enjoy!

The Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program sent me a package just in time for Ben and I to try out our burgers with this new bread from Nature’s Pride [I just have to say how stoked I am to have actually received something!  Many companies won’t send things out to me because I don’t live in the continental U.S.].

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We obviously thought the bread [All Natural Hearty Wheat with Flax] was pretty yummy Winking smile I was impressed by the company’s ingredient list (short and understandable!), as well as the fact that they used flax (real food) to up the fiber + Omega 3s.  Nice job, Nature’s Pride!  But although I am the nutrition-fact-checker and breadwinner in our family (hehe), Ben is the bread connoisseur.  His opinion: “8 out of 10. The texture was a little off and it’s a little dry.  But still good.”

I’ll tell you one thing: when you toast it up, slather it in goat cheese and mustard, add a ton of veggies, and top it with a chicken breast burger, it is divine Winking smile.

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But of course, not as divine as the bread connoisseur’s burger:

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[complete with ketchup, mustard, almond cheese, tomatoes, sprouts + greens]

Mmm, just looking at that makes me salivate.  I’m off to snack on a muffin and then fully enjoy my last day of being 25!  Smile Have a beautiful day!

Are you omnivorous? Can you tell/do you listen when your body tells you it’s craving something in particular?

Oh, and just for funsies, watch this clip from Portlandia.  This is sometimes how I feel about my obsession with finding legit food:


Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts!

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