They say that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”, and I’ve always found that to be true. Lately, the whole pandemic situation has been bringing that whole theory to reality for a lot of people – including for me and my husband.
For his part, my husband has been building. I now have a custom set of planters, designed specifically to be attached to the top railings of our back mini-deck, for easy access from the kitchen. When I injured my foot badly enough to not be able to put ANY weight on it this past weekend, he went out to the garage and came back less than 2 hours later with a homemade knee scooter, from whatever he had on hand.
I’d bastardize a quote from Red Green and say “If you can’t marry handsome, you should marry handy”, but I lucked out and got both 🙂 Anyway!
About a month ago, I kind of put my foot down on certain aspects of grocery shopping. I know I probably seemed a little paranoid at the time, but I saw what was coming – so no more buying easily-bruised (and therefore hard to REALLY wash) fruits out of bins… and no more buying fresh bakery goods displayed out in the open. Sensible, IMHO… but it meant no more of my husband’s favourite bagels for the foreseeable future. (When things go back to normal: Starsky’s in Hamilton. Amazing bagels!)
SO, this morning I finally got around to doing something I’ve had in the back of my head for a while : retooling my basic bagel recipe (Which was the basis for my Jalapeno Cheddar Bagels Recipe, for instance) *completely*, to create a proper pumpernickel recipe for him.
I ended up going a little wild with it, and just completely tricking it out to his taste (and, to a lesser degree… what we have on hand. No whole wheat flour, as a result!). I ended up combining his two favourite bagel types – Pumpernickel, and “Everything”, tweaking the “Everything” topping to better work with Pumpernickel (No poppyseeds, but adding caraway seeds)… having caraway seeds in the bagel, adding a little honey in the boil to get a bit of sweet faux-caramelization on the crust during the bake, AND having cornmeal on the bottom (Totally optional, btw).
He took one bite, said “I love you MORE!”, and declared them to be even better than Starskys. WOW. I was hoping for “Good enough for a quarantine substitute, for now”.
Luckily, these are easy enough to make, that anyone can do it. It doesn’t take any special skills or equipment, just a little bit of patience as the dough rises.
I hope you enjoy these as much as he does!
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Pour water and coffee into a microwave safe bowl. Stir in molasses and yeast, allow to stand for 10 minutes – it should get very bubbly.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, cocoa powder, caraway seeds and salt. Pour in yeast mixture and oil, stir well to combine.
Dump dough out onto a floured surface, knead until soft and elastic, 5-10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.
Once dough has doubled, punch it down, and divide it out. We divided the mixture into 8 equally sized balls, a medium-large bagel. You can divide into 6 for LARGE bagels, or 10- 12 for smaller bagels.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, scatter cornmeal across if desired. (Optional!)
There are two main ways of forming bagels – with roll each lump of dough into a thick “snake” and secure the ends together, or roll each lump into a smooth ball before poking a finger though. Once you have a hole made, stretch the ring of dough out a bit to enlarge the hole. Personally, I prefer the latter.
Once you have all of your bagels formed, set them on a baking sheet to rise for another 10 minutes.
In a large pot, combine water and honey, bring to a boil. I like to lay a sheet of parchment paper out across the other half of the stove, as my work surface.
Turn heat down a little, allowing water to simmer rather than continue to boil. 2 or 3 at a time, drop your bagels into the simmering water, allow to cook for 1 minute, then flip each and allow to cook for another minute. Drain well, place on the parchment lined work surface, allow to cool slightly.
Whisk egg together with 1 Tbsp of water, brush over the tops and sides of each bagel.
Combine remaining ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl. One at a time, pick up each bagel, gently invert into the bowl, and swirl around to coat the tops and sides. Place topping side up on baking sheets, as you finish each.
Bake for about 37 minutes (for 8), 35 minutes (if you’re making 10-12), or 40-45 mins (If you’re doing 6 large ones), until golden brown.
Marie is an award winning cake artist, cookbook author, and spandex costumer based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Known as much for her delicious and diverse flavor menu as for her sugar artistry, Marie's work has graced magazines and blogs around the world. Having baked and designed for brides, celebrities, and even Klingons, Marie was proud to share her wealth of baking knowledge in her two cookbooks: "The Spirited Baker" and “Evil Cake Overlord”. She followed those up with 4 other cookbooks: "Beyond Flour", "Beyond Flour 2", "Hedonistic Hops", and "More Than Poutine". She is currently working on her 7th - and final - cookbook, "Maize Craze".
Marie has also authored a book about her experiences surrounding the 2011 Minneapolis tornado: "Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir", as well as 6 sewing manuals - the "Spandex Simplified" series.