Saturday, July 14, 2012

Blueberry Bagels

July marks one of my favorite food seasons of the year. Some people love fall (myself included) for the pumpkin, spice, and comfort food. (Or Pumpkin Spice Lattes, which embodies all three of those traits!) But for me, no time of year beats blueberry season! For the next few weeks it is seemingly all blueberries, all the time around here.  Now granted, this recipe has dried blueberries, but they’re no less amazing than their fresh counterparts when paired with my absolute favorite bagel recipe. Combine this with a pumpkin spice latte and you have my favorite breakfast! :)
Blueberry Bagels
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makes 12 large bagels or 24 minis
For the Sponge
1 teaspoon instant yeast
4 cups unbleached bread (or high-gluten) flour
2 1/2 cups water, at room temperature

For the Dough
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3 3/4 cups unbleached bread (or high-gluten) flour
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dark malt syrup (or honey, or brown sugar)
1 1/2 cups dried blueberries, rinsed
To finish
1 tablespoon baking soda
cornmeal or semolina flour for dusting
To make the sponge
In a medium mixing bowl combine the yeast and flour. Stir in the water until the mixture is well saturated. It will look like thick pancake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. The sponge will be very bubbly and about double in size.
To make the dough
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sponge and the yeast. Add in the 3 cups of the flour, salt, malt syrup and blueberries. Gradually add the remaining flour until well-combined.
Continue to knead the dough, either in the mixer or by hand on a lightly floured surface, for about 10 minutes. The dough will be very firm and stiff, but satiny and smooth.
Divide the dough 4 1/2 ounce pieces, or 12 even pieces. Roll into balls and cover with a damp towel. Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and mist lightly spray oil. Place the rolls on the pans about 2 inches apart and cover with plastic wrap. Shape the rolls into bagels by poking a hole in the center and gently rolling the bagel to about 2 inches in diameter.  Let rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.
To check if the bagels are ready to rest in the refrigerator, fill a small bowl with water and drop one of the bagels into the water. If the bagel does not float within 10 seconds, pat dry and place back onto the pan and replace the plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for another 10 minutes and re-test with the float method.
Once the bagels are ready for retarding, place the plastic wrap covered pans into the refrigerator overnight.
When ready to bake the bagels pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees with the oven racks in the center settings.  Bring a large pot of water to boil and add in the baking soda. The water will fizz quite a lot so be careful!
Sprinkle parchment-lined pans with cornmeal to prevent bagel sticking.
Gently drop bagels, one at a time, into the boiling water, leaving enough space for them to expand a bit. After 1 minute (or 2 if you like chewy bagels) turn them over and let boil another minute (or two for chewier bagels). Remove the bagels from the water with a slotted spoon and place onto the parchment. Once all of the bagels are boiled, place the pans in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the pans 180 degrees, switching shelves, and bake for 5 more minutes or until the bagels are lightly golden.
Place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
Source: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chicken Sausage Jambalaya

Chicken Sausage Jambalaya
It’s winter in Michigan. Meaning that (barring the last week or two) it’s cold and snowy. After what feels like months of winter (and the resulting months of minor colds) we’ve been looking for some serious comfort food. I came across a recipe for jambalaya and after making just a few adjustments here and there, came up with what you see here. It was exactly what we needed to pull ourselves out of this cold winter funk. Better still, it comes together in just about a half an hour, making it an easy weeknight dinner. 
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 package andouille chicken sausage
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 large stalks celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 small jalapeno, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
Directions: Sauté the chicken sausage in a large Dutch oven until cooked through. Add the bell pepper, onion, celery, oil and bay leaves and sauté until tender and slightly golden. Stir in the salt, basil, oregano, thyme, jalapeno, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.
Pour the can of tomatoes, chicken broth and rice and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked through. Remove bay leaves and discard, and serve.
Source: Adapted from Cooking Light