Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bags and Bagels

Saturday mornings evoke relaxed indulgences such as fresh bagels and casual shopping without the frenzy of leaving work on a Friday to get to ye favorite store before the employees turn off the lights and smile apologetically....just as you grab the door handle. On that note, I will share with you my bagel recipe and new arrivals at iniam, so you can shop and cook this Saturday morning and feel more smug than the shopgirl who closed the door in your face last night.

Bagels, from Nigella Lawson, are no fuss, impressive, (like the the new bags I will describe below) and as addictive as the New York Times "Sunday Styles" (of which I will write about tomorrow).

6 2/3 cups flour
1 tbsp salt
1 package rapid rise yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil plus a little more
2 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp sugar for poaching the bagels
oiled baking sheet

Combine flour, salt and yeast in bowl. Mix the oil and sugar in the warm water. Add to flour and stir until unmanageable with a spoon. Knead until a smoothish consistency and the dough springs back when poked. This dough should be tough to knead, not soft and squishy like reguar bread dough. Spend 10 minutes or so kneading. Put in oiled bowl, put some plastic wrap over bowl and/or a tea towel, and set in an un-drafty location to rise for an hour. After the hour is up, punch dough and divide into three pieces. Roll each piece into a snake and then cut into five chunks. Take each chunk and work it into a doughnut shape (roll it on your counter) except there should NOT be a wide hole in the center. Pinch the ends together so the dough doesn't fall apart. Make it look like a bagel basically. Put those on your oiled baking sheet and cover as you make them. When finished, let them rise a little more til they are slightly puffy. At this time, boil your big pot of water.

When the water boils, add the additional two tablespoons of sugar to water. Two or three at a time, put your bagels into the water and let boil for 30 seconds each side (flip them with the nearest utensil). After this is done, put them in your pre-heated oven (put on highest temp.) and bake for 5-10 minutes. Eat them hot!

After you are done eating, come to iniam and see the new bags we received from Bahay Bags (Bahay means "home" in the Philippines, where the bags are handwoven). Lovely little bags, they are made of natural materials such as raffia, pandan, sabutan, bamboo, and buntal. The designer happens to be an Oakland local. All things aside, these are what the vendor terms as "city meets straw," adorable with whatever cute little dress you have, and lend a bit of whim and earthiness to your wardrobe. We particularly love the pink and natural clutch which is quite stunning with some of our festive clothing. As for the bagels, try to make them before your husband stands up in your attic and thus creates a hole in the ceiling of your living room...I'm just saying...

(Photo borrowed lovingly from Bahay Bags Web Site)

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