04 September 2013

The 15 Cent Bagel

I cooked a piece of corned beef yesterday (in the slowcooker) to slice for sandwiches this week.  Hannah has production all week and she'll be at school from 8.30am to around 11pm every day so I want her to have slightly better than usual lunches and dinners (they'll both be packed). 

Cooking corned beef at home is less than half the price of buying it from the deli. I paid $5.49/kg for the piece I cooked yesterday, it was 1.4kg and the label read $8.12. I put it in the fridge and let it cool, then I use the electric knife to slice it (one day, perhaps, I'll invest in a slicer) into nice thin slices. It goes much further if it's let to cool and then sliced, and of course it is so much nicer and cheaper than buying it. If you are blessed with a meat slicer you can shave it and get even more serves from it.

Anyway, back to 15 cent bagels and Hannah's lunches. She has a salad every day for lunch, which costs around 50 cents:
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Spring onion
  • Grated carrot
  • Sliced radish
  • Sliced celery
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Slice of cheese
Everything except the carrot and cheese come from our garden. She takes a little tub of MOO mayo to drizzle over it. We don't often have meat with lunchtime salads or on salad sandwiches, simply because it's not needed and when it's packed in a school bag keeping it chilled properly is an issue.

But this week she needs dinner too, and a little more protein won't go astray so I've cooked the corned beef. Corned beef is such a versatile meat. Slice it and have it with veggies or a salad. Shred it and add it to fritters. Use it to make corned beef hash. Put it in a pie. Or have it with tomato and pickle on a fresh bagel - yum!

Bagels are delicious, crusty boiled rolls. They are great for salad fillings as they don't go soggy. Not going soggy makes them ideal for packed lunches, especially when they'll be packed for a while! And they are really, really easy to make, much easier and faster than conventional bread rolls.

This recipe is for a traditional New York style bagel, and personally I think it can't be beaten, particularly by mass produced supermarket bagels. I've used this recipe exclusively for about 5 years now so I guess you could say it's a winner.

MOO Bagels

4 cups plain flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive oil, you can use any vegetable oil you have on hand)
2 tsp. dry yeast
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water

Step 1.  Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a mixer.

Step 2.  Add oil to the water and pour into the mixing bowl.

Step 3.  Mix with a dough hook until smooth and creamy looking.

Step 4.  Add remaining flour and continue to knead with the dough hook for several minutes until the dough is uniform and smooth.

If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, you can beat the batter by hand with a wooden spoon, then add the remaining flour and knead it by hand for 10 minutes.

Step 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Cut dough into 8 equal size balls or, if you're as OCD as I am, get out the scales and weigh each ball of dough so the finished bagels will be the same size.

Weigh the dough, divide by eight then weigh off your bagels. End result: bagels that are all the same size!
Let them rest for 20 minutes, the dough will puff up into balls.

Step 6.  Roll each dough ball into a long "snake" until it will wrap around your hand to form a circle. Don't make your circles to small or when the bagels rise they will just look like regular, over-sized rolls. You want them to have the "hole" in the middle. Fuse the ends of your dough snakes well, then roll with the palm of your hand to smooth them over. Let them rest for 20 minutes.

Step 7.  In the meantime, preheat oven to 205 degrees Celsius, bring a pot of water to the boil and oil a large baking sheet.

Drop the bagels into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute on each side. Let them dry for a moment then place onto the oiled baking sheet.

Step 8.  Bake at 205 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, turn bagels over and bake for another 10 minutes.
Super crunch, glossy bagels, fresh from the oven.
You can add flavour to your bagels before cooking. After taking them out of the boiling water, drop them face down into either poppy or sesame seeds, dried onion, dried herbs and garlic etc. then bake as per the instructions.

Cost: $1.20 or  15 cents per bagel - so much cheaper than buying them and nicer too.

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  1. we have just made these and i mixed it all in my bread machine, i found that i needed almost 2 cups of water. These are amazing and so easy

  2. Wow, that's a lot of water - I've never used that much, sometimes the flour is dryer depending on the weather and it takes a little more. They are amazing aren't they? We love them.

  3. made these yesterday ( for the second time - they were such a hit) but instead of rolling bagel into a sausage i used a funnel to make the hole and then smoothes and stretched the hole. the first time they didn't stick together to well but this time with the funnel they have come up brilliant - we will be making this recipe a lot i can tell - jo

  4. Must try this recipe :) ...it sounds so simple. Thank you!



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