I had to work Chistmas day for the last time before I retire in January. It was a quiet day with lots of empty beds, quite unusual for out ICU. We had a lottery for Boxing Day and I won the day off. I visited with my sister and her husband for a while and went home and set up a batch of bagels for Boxing Day morning. I had some small spots where they spilt and I am not sure why. I couldn't find my timer and guessed on 2 minutes for the boil so that may be the problem. Noone seemed to care though and they tasted great.
I saw the blog as I was wondering though TFL for Bridge Rolls. I didn't know what they were or what they should look like so I checked it out. I am playing euchre with some of the women that I work with. it is an excuse to get together and drink lots of wine and nosh and gossip and yes play a little euchre. Hopefully these little Euchre Rolls with go with the Port Salut cheese and whatever anyone else has brought along.
I had a choice today clean my house or bake. I opted for baking. Cleaning will have to wait until later today or tomorrow. I started to make PR bagels. It was an easy recipe to follow. I made no changes to the recipe. I found diastatic malt syrup at a local beer store and used that as the sweetener. I formed the bagels using the rope method. The first couple were a bit misshapen but got the hang of it. I put them in the fridge to retard overnight. I woke up at 3 and 5 AM but made myself wait until 6:30. I had to get up to boil and bake them to see how they turned out. I tried to wait the 15 minutes before tasting them. Oh MY these were the best bagels I have tasted! They were crunchy and chewy on the outside and soft and tasty on the inside. I will definitely be making these again...maybe later today. I made 13 4 oz bagels
I also made Portuguese Sweet Bread. I was not quite as happy with this bread as with the bagels. The dough came together well. I didn't have any orange or lemon extract so I put a little orange and lemon zest in the dough. It gave the bread a wonderful scent. The recipe said to have the bread rise in the pan for 2 to 3 hours or until the dough fills the pans fully. I think I left them a little too long and the loaves were over proofed. They had large holes just under the crust. I didn't get any over spring. the loaves had a nice crust and you could taste the zest flavours. It is not my favourite bread. It was kind of blah.
I have decided to work my way though Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I have made my own challah for some years now but really rarely ventured into any other breads. There are many techniques that I need to perfect. I have read though the first part of the book and today I started with Anadama Bread. I substituted honey for the molasses as I am not keen on the flavour. I need to buy myself another loaf tin. I only have one small one and the recipe make 2 loaves. I did the second one in a pyrex loaf dish. I still had a small amount of dough and made it in a smaller pyrex dish. The one in the metal loaf tin looks beautiful. It has a nice rounded top browned nicely with a nice bit of oven spring. The two in the pyrex had no oven spring and lack the nice even shape of the metal tin. They were all treated in the same way proofed in the same place the only differerence is the pryex. Has anyone else noticed this? My friend came over with wine and cheese and we ate the smallest one. It had a lovely flavour but seemed a little heavy and the bottom 2 cm was a little more compacted. I will cut one tomorrow and see if the heaviness was a result of cutting while it was still warm or not. The pretty loaf will go to my parents.