Saturday, November 22, 2008

Baking Day: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

I've been baking our bread for a while now, with mixed results. Sometimes it would be so pretty, so fluffed up, so nice...other times, more dense and short and, while edible, not the greatest. I blamed the high altitude and luck, and continued to try, but sweet hubby did a little online research and found this article. Armed with a better understanding of the forces at work at high altitude, I've been consistently getting breads that look like this!


I guess my recent success with the daily bread made me a little too hopeful, though. Yesterday, as the loaf above was in its first rise, I decided, out of the blue, to make bagels.

I made bagels once, a long time ago, and I remember them coming out really nice. That was not what happened yesterday.

I think things went bad early on. I don't remember having to put them under the broiler that first time I made them...but it was a long time ago, so I just followed the instructions and did what the recipe said to do. It didn't really seem to help, but I continued on.

When you make bagels, one of the steps is to put them in boiling water, simmer them for a few minutes, then take them out, drain, and after that, you bake them. The first time I made them, they came out of the water shiny, puffed, and while pale, very bagel-ish. When these came out of the water, they looked shrunken, shriveled, dense, and yucky. Still, I didn't give up. Did a quick egg wash for the ones that were getting poppy seeds or sesame seeds, and continued on with baking them.

Even after baking for the maximum time, they were not right. Thank goodness we have the chickens, who might actually eat some of these. We did a bit of taste testing. They say that looks can be decieving, but in this case, they really are as bad as they look.


They are heavy, dense, doughy, and to my taste, a bit salty. Hubby detects some potential for bagel-y goodness in there, but before I try again, I plan to do some research on the bread sub-species that is 'bagel'. Until then, we'll just enjoy our bread!

What do you enjoy baking? Ever have a baking flop? Leave your comments and/or links!


Kath said...

Good Afternoon!
I just linked to your blog from, well, somewhere else. lol Actually, I found you early this morning, and between chores, picking up my side of beef etc... I have read through your entire history. What a pleasure it is to get to know you!

Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am in awe of how large your coop is! Wow. We get together an order 5000lbs of stuff from Montana Wheat each year, and I thought that was a lot. Lol

I'll be looking forward to visiting your corner of the web!

amyd (from ph) said...

Try she has a bagel recipe that looks very good. I haven't tried it yet, but hers turn out really pretty!

tenthingsfarm said...

Welcome, Kath! Nice to 'meet' you. :)

I am not certain how many are in the co-op. It's not the type of co-op that does a monthly order. We do a few a year, so that might be part of the reason that our orders are so big. We order from Walton Feed once a year (Spring) and a few places are combined for the Fall order, which is mostly dry fruits, nuts, candies and candy making supplies. The other orders are for fresh fruits and frozen berries.

AmyD, I'll check the recipe there. I'm not allowing myself to do a second bagel attempt until after Thanksgiving - I have enough to do just getting the house and the menu ready! :)

TofuRanch said...

The bread looks so great...My husband has been trying to get me to do bread all the time. I really need to but I am chicken. Yes with all of the things that I do, I don't do bread...


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