Those of you who follow Mini Piccolini on Facebook might have seen that Alec and I spent the morning baking yesterday. He has woken up crazy early the last couple of days and as a result has been a wreck by 9am. Baking is one of the best ways to make the hours until nap time go a little faster.
Today we tackled bagels! I love bagels and definitely ate my fair share of them while we were living in Atlanta. Here in Stockholm, there are some bagel cafés, but you can’t readily get ahold of a bag of bagels in a regular grocery store. Pre-Atlanta I baked bagels once of twice and was always so happy with how they turned out.
Bagels is a great thing to bake with children since there are so many baking/cooking aspects involved: cracking eggs, measuring ingredients, kneading dough, shaping bagels, boiling the bagels, egg-washing, baking. And they only need about 30 minutes to rise once, so there is no long waiting around after the dough is ready.
I started out by letting Alec do some baking/sensory play on his own at the table while I prepped all the ingredients for the bagels. Alec played with oats and water using his unbelievabowl, some other containers, his mini utensils from IKEA, and a spoon. I gave him water and oats in two separate containers so that he could measure them into his bowl on his own and he did really well. When he was done, he helped me to put everything he had used into the sink and then wiped down his high chair while I did the table and floor.
For the rest of the baking, Alec sat on the counter beside the KitchenAid. I kept all the ingredients on the other side of the KitchenAid so that I could show him just one at a time and not risk him getting into everything at once. I used the splatter guard on the KitchenAid so that he could be right up close and look into the bowl while the machine was on without being able to stick his fingers in.
We had a short break while the dough rose, and then Alec was back on the counter for kneading and shaping bagels. I gave him a little piece of dough to work on himself. Of course the first thing he did was put it in his mouth, something that was repeated once or twice with crazy drama every time I had to fish the dough out. In the end I too the easier route and gave him a pacifier. After that he didn’t taste any dough. He did mimic all the kneading, rolling and shaping actions I made and was very unhappy to part with his little clump of dough when it was time to go down for a nap.
We made our bagels cinnamon raisin, but you could do any topping you’d like using this basic recipe:
- 50 gr fresh yeast (or equivalent dry)
- 250 ml lukewarm water (or a little warmer if you are using dry yeast)
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- ca 1L flour
- water for boiling – approximately 1 tbsp salt per litre
- egg for egg wash
- poppy seeds, sea salt, sesame seeds or any other topping/flavouring you like
- Crumble the yeast in a large mixing bowl and let it dissolve in the water.
- Add oil, salt and eggs and knead in as much of the flour as is needed to make a soft dough.
- Cover the bowl with plastic film or a tea towel and let the dough rise at room temperature for ca 30 minutes.
- Knead the dough and cut it into 16-24 equal pieces depending on how big you want your bagels to be.
- Roll the pieces and form rings, wetting one end with a little water and pressing the ends together well.
- Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large pot and boil the rings a few at a time for 1-2 minutes each. Drain them and allow to dry a little on paper towels.
- Heat the oven to 220 degrees celsius, egg wash the bagels and add any seeds or toppings and bake the bagels on a greased (or parchment-lined) cookie sheet in the middle of the oven for ca 10-15 minutes until golden.