If your online browsing habits take you frequently to cuteoverload.com you’ll quickly notice that for the cuteness factor the same rules seem to always apply. Among many others, it’s size. Anything tiny there will make me go “ahhhh look at that” and then “I want one…”, same thing happened when I spotted the recipe for these mini bagels…
I am a big bagel fan and have become an even bigger one during my visits to the US, but I also have two big issues with bagels:
FIRSTLY: In 99% of all my past bagel-encounters I found a whole bagel to be simply too much for me. The sheer mass of it, as well as lacking variety in taste. Having eaten the first half of it, the whole thing starts to get “old”. Across the board I hate to just stick with a single flavor for the duration of a meal, same here, there are so many wonderful spreads out there, it’s virtually impossible to appease my cravings by choosing one single flavor to go with two bagel halves.
Generally, if available, I always opt for the smallest portion of a snack, which makes it easier to indulge in the many flavors and tastes. ‘Love to sample without making commitments, so to speak. Voilà, this is where the mini bagels come into play. Three to four big bites and they are history, allowing to taste different spreads and toppings without being completely stuffed.
SECONDLY: The hole. Ok, ok, I won’t blame the bagels for their holes, but certainly inapt staff at bagel shops for doing a poor job trying to turn the bagel into a well dressed, good looking and especially, edible – technically edible – bagel. I’ve had so many that after the second bite automatically morphed into a “run over” kind of style, with the cream cheese spread all over the place making the bagel a complete mess to eat.
While this might be taking it too far, the mini bagel with the smaller hole – unless you go crazy with the filling – is a so much nicer snack. They can be true all-rounders and are definitely a worthy candidate for my next party event!
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl and make a little depression in the middle. Then pour water and olive oil into the depression and sprinkle dry yeast on top. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes.
Either use your kitchen machine or knead by hand until the dough becomes smooth, shiny and elastic. Add some more flour if it feels too sticky. Again, let the covered bowl rest at a warm place for about 60-90 minutes (size of dough should have doubled by then).
Preheat oven to 200°C (392°F). Punch down the dough, and shape about 16 to 20 equally sized little balls. Now comes the fun part: You can either use your index finger (poke it in flour first) or the handle of a wooden spoon to create a hole in the middle and try to give each bagel a nice look. Be sure to make the holes a notch larger than you’d think is necessary, they tend to quickly close up as the bagels rise and bake.
Heat up a pot of saltwater and bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer. Send bagels into the hot water for about a minute (they’ll float on top) and remove with a skimmer. Imagine wrinkled fingers after a long hot bath – yep, that’s what they look like now.
Note: You could now brush some egg yolk over the bagels to give them a darker (and more yellow-ish) color. We tried with a few and found the original color to be much nicer looking.
Sprinkle with sesame, poppy seeds or other seeds/spices of your choice and bake in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooled down a bit you can serve right then and there, but they also taste phenomenal the next morning, straight from the toaster with cream cheese and jam. Home-made jam of course :) Throughout last year, my family went a little overboard preserving jams and jellies (and other) – this is what we got just this Christmas… Sour cherries and blood orange are my new favorites – so far.
Recipe source: Fingerfood (Eric Treuille & Victoria Blashford-Snell), p. 121, adapted
Prep time: 30min., rising time: ~90min., baking: 10-15min.
Ingredients (yields 16-20 mini bagels):
250g white flour (I used type 405)
1 tsp salt
165ml lukewarm water
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dry yeast
poppy seeds, sesame seeds etc.