Cooking is often as much about connections as it is about ingredients. It’s about connecting with the food we eat. Connecting with the people we share the food with. And, sometimes, even connecting with those we would share food with if we could. My Yogels recipe stems from one such connection.
About a year ago, I had an incident. Standing in my dining room, I looked down to see that one of my greatest treasures lay utterly broken. I felt as broken as the two disjointed pieces of crystal before me. I felt my eyes well up. How could I have let this happen? In my haste I had broken one of the only tangible things left that linked me to my beloved great great grandmother Sara—her crystal bowl. I never knew her, but the bits and pieces I’d heard about Sara had rendered her a larger than life figure. Thrice widowed, Sara was a woman of strong will, wealth and second sight. The kind of woman who inspired awe via audacity. Someone who asked for, and received, cash discounts for burial expenses. My kind of woman. I was proud to share her DNA. And appalled that I’d destroyed the only seemingly delicate thing about her. Looking at the broken pieces before me, I resolved right then to create my own link to Sara.
Bagels seemed a perfect tribute.
I considered bagels somewhat of a lost art for the home cook, a labor of love that I wanted to revive. I kneaded away at several experimental batches loving the feel and resiliency of the dough that mirrored Sara’s spirit. While I was kneading, I felt as though I was looking at my hands for the first time in a long while. I scarcely recognized them as my own. They had turned into the hands of my grandmother, riddled with freckles and fingers that bent at peculiar angles. I imagined that Sara’s looked just like them. And for the first time ever, I loved my hands. And I love you Sara Metzger, thanks for all you’ve given me. Here’s to you. L’Chaim!
Roll up your sleeves—with this recipe, you’ll make the most delicious bagels ever!
Overnight fermentation needed!
1 t instant yeast
4 C Organic bread flour
1 C Plain Oikos
1 ½ C of water
½ t instant yeast
3 ¾ C organic bread flour (I like King Arthur’s)
2 ½ t of sea salt
1 ½ Tbs malt syrup (I found mine at Whole Foods)
1 T baking soda for the bagel boil
Optional toppings like sesame or poppy seeds
The night before you plan to serve—or before you go to bed…
Make the starter, stirring yeast and flour together. Add yogurt and water and blend well. Starter will have a thin consistency. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 8-12 hours. Get a good nights rest, dreaming about scrumptious homemade yogels for breakfast. : )
The next morning…
Add 3 C of flour, malt syrup and salt to the starter and mix until the dough forms a ball. Mix in the final ¾ C of flour until a stiff, somewhat moist dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or 4-5 minutes in a stand mixer with dough hook.
Split the dough into 12 equal pieces. Place pieces on oiled baking sheet and let them rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Roll each piece until it’s an inch wider than your hand on each side. Press the ends together and roll together until secure. Place shaped yogels on an oiled baking sheet, leaving an inch between each one. Cover with damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the Tablespoon of baking soda. Sprinkle baking sheets with corn meal. Drop 3-4 yogels at a time into the boiling water. Boil for one minute, flip them over, and boil for another minute. Remove the bagels and place on baking sheets.
If you’re using toppings spread them out on a plate and press the tops of the moist yogels into the toppings so they adhere. Once all the yogels have been boiled and prepped on the baking sheets, place the sheets in the oven for 6 minutes, turn heat down to 450 and bake for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy!
What connections have you made through cooking?