Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apple Struesel Bagels

 Let me just tell you, I started out on this bagel quest with the idea of making a pumpkin bagel.  There are a few recipes out there for pumpkin bagels, but apparently, they aren't for me.  There were 4 attempts made, and none were successful enough to make me crave them or even share the recipe.  And that was my lesson.  Just because I am in a pumpkin craze right now, doesn't mean everything needs to be pumpkin.  Some things just aren't meant to be pumpkin (for me anyway).  I did add a pumpkin crumb topping to some of these bagels, and they were good, but the pumpkin flavor wasn't particularly strong and I liked the apple crumb better after taste testing.  I did do some messing with the cream cheese that was very successful, but that's another post.  And these bagels are good enough, you don't even need the cream cheese.
I made the bagel dough in my bread machine because it really doesn't get any easier than that.  Making it with the mixer would probably be a bit quicker, but I wasn't on a time schedule.  My bagel knowledge isn't what I would call extensive, I started making them a little bit about a year or so ago, using a different recipe in my food processor.  However, these ones turned out really well.  I now have a new bagel recipe.
The process of making bagels kind of rubs me the wrong way.  Isn't there something so wrong about dropping dough into boiling water?  It still boggles my mind and I never expect them to turn out because it seems like such a bizzare concept.  So bizzare that I have tried skipping it and spraying the oven with water throughout baking instead, much like the french bread recipe calls for.  The result with that was just a bagel shaped dinner roll.  Dropping dough in water really is the only way to cook a bagel at home.  So I have made peace with it and embraced it.  
The other thing about making bagels that just seems wrong is picking up the dough once it has risen and dropping it into the water.  Isn't that just a recipe for disaster?  Every time I go to pick up the dough or try to gently slide it onto my spatula, I cringe at the thought of losing some of the fluffiness of the dough or the shape of the bagel.  Well, every once in a while I have a stroke of genius in the kitchen.  Or at least I think it's a stoke of genius.  A way for me to believe the bagels are staying in their beautiful, fluffy round shape!  What could be more genius than that?  I made six bagels with this recipe although it calls for 8.  I cut six squares of waxed paper, greased both sides and placed a bagel on each square.  Then when it came to dropping the bagels into the water, I didn't have to worry about trying to get them on a spatula or ruining them with my fingers.  I just picked them up with one hand on each side of the wax paper and then dumped them in by flipping the wax paper over above the water.  I only had to worry about splashing myself with boiling water when I dropped them in (be careful).  This would pobably also work with the doughnuts because I have the same problem with those.  
It might not be pumpkin, but it still tastes like Fall, and it's delicious. :)

1 cup warm water
3 cups bread flour
2.5 T sugar
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
I also threw in a tsp of cinnamon since I knew they were going to be topped with struesel, but I think it's optional
2 quarts water and 2 T sugar for boiling bagels
cornmeal for dusting pan

Egg Wash
1 egg white
1 tsp water
whisk until foamy

Struesel Topping
6 T butter, cold
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 med apple, peeled and cored

Bread Machine:  Add water to pan, then add flour and salt, make a well in center, add sugar and yeast.  Turn machine on to dough cycle.

Mixer:  add water and sugar and yeast to bowl, let sit 5 minutes until foamy.  Add 1 cup of flour and salt and beat with paddle on low for 30 seconds and med for 2 minutes.  Switch to dough hook and add remaining flour.  Dump into greased bowl and cover and let rest for 1 hour or until double in size.

After bread machine is finished or dough has raised for an hour, dump onto lightly floured surface and let rest 30 minutes.  Break into 6-8 balls, punch a hole in the middle and stretch to the shape of a bagel.  (It's kind of fun to twirl it around your finger once there's a hole in it.) :)  Place on greased squares of waxed paper on a baking sheet.  Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rest for 30-45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Bring 2 quarts of water with 2 T sugar to boil, once water is at a rolling boil, dump bagels one or two at a time into the boiling water.  Boil each for 1-2 minutes on each side.  With bagles in the water, sprinkle that area of baking sheet with cornmeal.

Once bagel has boiled on both sides, remove from water, drain and return to cornmeal dusted baking sheet. Brush each bagel with egg wash and bake for 10 minutes.  While they are baking, prepare struesel by combining all ingredients in food processor or soften butter (not melted) and combine ingredients by hand.  Remove bagels from oven and adjust temperature to 425.  Brush bagels again with egg wash and top with struesel,

Return to oven for 10-12 minutes.
Let cool before serving.

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