The Tower of Bagel(s)

Yeah, so maybe it wasn’t the most inspiring choice of bagel flavor, but it sounded so good in my head: Cherry Raisin Poppy Seed Bagels. I learned me some lessons making these guys, though, this being only the third time I have made bagels and I clearly have much to learn.

1) more salt. Do not reduce the salt, even if 1.5 tablespoons seems like too much, that’s why you have a recipe that tells you things. It knows.

2) Dried cherries would be better than fresh. Fresh cherries get soggy in the boiling process, while dried raisins plump out nicely.

3) If the dough tastes bitter at first, don’t despair, even if you don’t know why. Problems that fix themselves are no longer problems, right? (Actually, I suspect that my whole wheat flour is going off. Which is a problem that won’t fix itself.)

4) Bagels expand upon boiling, so to avoid getting Monster Bagels, start small. I’ve learned this before, but forgot it, and am now re-learning.

The recipe I use is Beth Hensperger’s Egg Bagels. Egg Bagels are a little lighter than your average store-bought bagel, but still quite nice. Here’s what I did, but they are infinitely open to customization.

Cherry Raisin Poppyseed Bagels

2 cups warm potato water (boil about 2 russet potatoes in 2.5 cups water until soft, reserve potatoes for another use)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pinch cloves
3 cups whole-wheat flour
3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup diced cherries (at least, that’s what I did but you’re better of using dried)
1 cup golden raisins

1 egg
2 tablespoons water
poppy seeds, to garnish


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