my bagel craving has been satisfied. :) earlier this week, all i really wanted was a warm, toasty bagel with garlic cream cheese, and nothing really satisfies that sort of craving except the thing itself. the problem, however, the real crunch, was the fact that well - i don't know where to get fresh bagels in Singapore. shum says there are frozen ones at the supermarket, but for someone accustomed to popping into the local supermarket for a batch of fresh bagels from the bakery to slather with cream cheese, frozen ones just don't cut it. so there was nothing for it - today i trekked across to Alex's place, and baked a batch of bagels under the supervision of his mother. :)
i picked a rather unfortunate day for baking - it's been raining and humid all day, so the dough was pretty unmanageable even though we used inordinate amounts of flour. but after twiddling with the recipe to make it less wet, and letting it rise and punching it down and letting it rise again (mutant, insane, crazy-growing yeasties!), we had a dough that worked reasonably well on a well-floured work surface. that's when the fun began: adding things to the dough to make a bunch of differently flavoured bagels (this was for your sake, janice - i would have made 21 garlic bagels! -grin-), then shaping them into little rounds, and sticking a finger through them to make the hole in the middle! needless to say that was fairly hard for me, and my bagels came out sort of more oval than round, but they got made...
then into the pot of boiling salted water with them, followed by egg wash and a short spell in a 400 degree oven. mmmm, the smell of baking bread! i couldn't wait to eat them. the first batch turned out sort of underdone (nothing a few minutes in a toasted prior to consumption won't fix) but the second batch -the batch with my garlic bagels- ohhhh, my bagel craving has been (partially) satisfied. slathered with soft onion-and-chive cream cheese, with some fresh garlic mixed in (there ain't no such thing as Too Much Garlic, and no self-respecting vampire would come within twenty feet of me and my bagel), warm from the oven, that bagel really hit the spot.
i didn't bring my camera, or i would have taken a bunch of photos of the process -didn't even think of it, which just goes to show how fixated i was on my bagel-craving- perhaps tomorrow i'll go downstairs and take a picture of the end product, because i consume yet another one for breakfast. yummy!