I love bread.  LOVE.  I’ve been wanting to make bagels at home for awhile now, but it has always seemed like a daunting process.  I worked at The Chesapeake Bagel Bakery when I was in high school (when bagels were all the rage) so I knew the basic process – mix the dough, knead the dough, rise, shape, proof, boil and bake.  Not rocket science but they take time and so I kept putting it off.

And then I got a book out of the library and bagels got a lot easier.  Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day is the follow up book to Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day which I own and have been using lately to provide our daily bread.  The basic idea is that you mix up several loafs-worth of very wet bread dough, let it rise, then store it in the refrigerator.  When you are ready to bake a loaf, you scoop out a cantaloupe size ball of dough, do a tiny bit of shaping, let it rise briefly and bake just that.  There is no kneading and it really does only take about 5 minutes of actual hands-on time to make bread.  Obviously, the dough needs time to do its thing and there is baking time, but that just requires being around the kitchen – not any real work.


This really works for us for several reasons.  First, its depressing to me to spend a bunch of time and effort making bread and then the kids inhale it in about ten seconds.  Of course, its lovely that they eat it and I feel good the they are eating something homemade and such, but its nice to be able to make a batch of dough and then have it last a couple of days instead of a couple of minutes.  Second, since I am mostly at home, its easy to have the bread rising and baking without impinging on my routine.  Third, the kids eat it.  Did I mention they eat it?  Fourth, its a pretty flexible dough and I can use it to make a regular loaf, or rolls, or pizza crust.  Fifth, the no-knead thing is great and I can mix the dough up by hand which means I don’t have to get out my mixer which for some reason, is a barrier to me.   And last but not least, it makes yummy bread.  Shiny crisp crust, soft stretchy bubble interior – its just about perfect with butter and honey.  I am anxious to try out the “healthy” versions because I would really like to incorporate more whole grains in our bread.  The initial version has whole wheat and rye flour in it, but it is primarily all-purpose flour.  I’m excited to try the new versions.


The bagels caught my eye this morning though and all I had to do was add the amendments to some of my existing dough – in this case, cranberries, cinnamon and sugar – and then shape them.  They rose for 20 minutes and then I boiled them in simmering water with sugar and baking soda in it.  I popped them in the oven for 25 minutes and then Sunday morning got just a little bit better.


They were good enough that David and Tommy decided to call a truce in Memoir ’44 -which was lucky for David because Tommy had him on the run.


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5 Responses to Bagels

  1. They were seriously good enough that the Axis and the Allies all lay down their weapons and ate bagels with butter. All the bagels disappeared by lunch!

  2. Uncle Kyle says:

    Peace through bread. I like it.

  3. KP says:

    You are Super Woman in my book !

  4. Uncle Dave says:

    You’re learning how to make more delicious things the week before I come visit ?? Life is sweet.

  5. Sarah says:

    So crazy, I worked at the Chesapeake Bagel Bakery too! The one in Severna Park. Then I read your info page and found out you’re in Maryland too. (I wasn’t sure how much of a chain restaurant it was).

    I read your post about the wool mattress you made, and was wondering how it is after a little while of use? I’m pondering a wool or buckwheat hull mattress. Thanks!

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