Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Busy Busy Bagels

Hello... I'm here. I have been out of the country. We ventured about 30 miles north to Canada (then 4 more hours and however many kilometers... Google didn't switch their distances from miles to kilometers after we crossed the border. Boo Google!) We ventured into a foreign land and traveled through ice, snow, and roads without lane lines (scary!) for a climbing trip, and it was a blast despite the chilly weather! We went to Penticton, BC, Canada, to climb at Skaha Bluffs with the Mountaineers. This is a view of the climbing area from across the lake from where we camped.

Skaha Lake 

Our Campsite (but not our tent) - it was so beautiful to camp right on the lake, but it sure was windy! 

Chris and Lauren - our carpool/camping/super cool climbing classmates. After being detained at the border and taking into account the whole weekend... definitely our friends as well. =)

This is the absolute coolest tent EVER. I borrowed it from my Dad once... and have yet to give it back. (It has been since my freshman year of college). Thanks Dad! What is so great about it - you don't have to set it up. You unfold it, pop it up, the poles are in place and all you have to do is put on the rain-fly. It take us less than a minute to set it up - the best car camping tent ever. They don't make the same style anymore - but this is a comparable tent - the instant tent. 

Building a fire.

Doesn't Ross look pro? There are pictures of me climbing on a classmate's camera... I'll add them if I can get ahold of them. 

I am still on a high from this trip, it was AWESOME. However, there is something about preparing for a trip and packing that just absolutely stresses me out. Big time. I hate packing almost as much as a I hate wearing heels, but I hate wearing heels more. At least when I pack it means I'm going somewhere cool... the last time I wore heels was in May 2010 at my sister's wedding. The time before that... who knows.

Before we left for our camping and climbing trip I was busy. I made granola bars, made sure to stop and pick up some Canadian treats - i.e. Maple Leaf Cookies, and also baked bagels for the road. Bagels are perfect for traveling, they don't get smashed like regular bread. Oh, right, and somehow I manage to be a graduate student as well. So I haven't blogged in nearly a week... but here I am!

We had these in lieu of s'mores around the campfire. So. good. And fun to share. And the maple was actually from Canada too! 

At any rate, my first attempt at bagels was pretty decent, but there will definitely be subsequent attempts. With various toppings. Like a jalapeƱo cheese, or a sesame seed bagel.

Ingredients for Whole Wheat Bagels from Lavish Simplicity
2 cups warm water
1 Tbs active dry yeast
3 Tbs sugar or other sweetener
3 Tbs canola oil (or other oil)  
2 tsp salt 
2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten flour
2 eggs 

Bagels start just like any kind of bread... put the yeast, sugar and oil in the bowl and then add the warm water.

Then add the the flour, salt, and eggs and mix until even. Leave it to rise for an hour or so. 

Flour your hands and divide the dough into 12 even balls. Shape the bagels by rolling the balls of dough into themselves until a hole breaks in the middle (which you can help along by sticking your finger through the center).

Twirl and stretch the dough until you have a hole that is at least twice the diameter of the width of the dough. Let them rest for about 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and preheat the oven to 350F. When the water reaches boiling, you can add 1 Tbsp baking soda and 1 Tbsp sugar, though it is not necessary. 

Make sure to only boil as many as can fit in the pot without touching to keep the shape. Gently drop the bagels in and wait for them to float to the surface. Once they are floating, boil for 1 minutes on each side. Flipping is best achieved by using a big slotted spoon. 

Place them on a greased baking sheet, or a cookie pan sprinkled with cornmeal, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 

This one was fun, they tested great, but not as easy as other bread recipes I have tried. 

Shaping them will take practice, but I think they turned out pretty darn well!!! 

And they didn't get smashed while traveling camping, and they tasted great with cream cheese. We were also going to have them with Nutella, but it pretty much froze in the low 40s temperatures. What can you do? 

O Canada. 


P.S. We stopped at a Mini-Mart in Canada to get ice for our beer (did you know that Fat Tire now comes in a can?!?!?! Super cool.) At any rate - this Mini-Mart sold the regular stuff you would expect at such a place...

But also fresh produce, local meats and cheeses! Canada is on to something. Real food!!!!