Bagels by Bubba

Bubba’s actual factual bagels baked today!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons / 6 g active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ teaspoons / 19 g granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups / 300 ml warm water (you may need ± ¼ cup /60 ml more)
  • 3 ½ cups / 440 g bread flour or high gluten flour (you may need up to 1/2 cup / 60g for kneading)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons / 6 g salt
  • Optional Toppings: (Refer to Notes)

Instructions

  • In ½ cup /120ml of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture until it all dissolves in the water.
  • Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.
  • Pour 1/3 cup / 80ml of warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add an additional couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup/60ml of water. You want a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it.
  • On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.
  • Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  • Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I used a scale to be extra precise, but it’s not necessary). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms (as pictured). Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.
  • Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.
  • After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF / 220ºC / Gas Mark 7.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and then flip them over to boil for another minute. Extend the boiling times to 2 minutes each, if you’d prefer a chewier bagel (results will give you a more New York-Style bagel with this option).
  • If you want to add toppings to your bagels, do so as you take them out of the water. Alternatively, you can use an egg wash to get the toppings to stick before baking the bagels. You may want to use the “Optional Toppings” listed above to top the bagels. Use just one topping, or a combination to make your own Everything Bagel Seasoning.
  • Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown (I usually err on the side of 20 minutes).
  • Cool on a wire rack (Or, if you’re impatient like I am, slice one of these babies open and spread on some of your favorite cream cheese or softened butter. Take a bite… Oh babyyy!)

A Covid Lock-down Tale

Royalty-free ID: 1369386470 by Seventy-Four

Let me introduce you to the characters of this little story. Firstly there is Sean, he is a man after my own heart. If I ever met him I know we’d see eye to eye on most things; and then there is his faithful dog, a playful little thing called Lido. Together they are a great team, but it is a little like the blind leading the blind as both can be as silly as the other. There is Sarah, she is a helpful woman, always looking out for others, and then there is Bubbie, an old friend of Sean and Sarah’s – Bubbie comes from the spare the rod, spoil the child school of thinking but has fallen on hard times.

Sean and Lido had been happily resting in the land of nod one evening when the alarm on Sean’s watch went off. It was time to rise and shine because, as we know, there is no rest for the wicked. They both stretched and yawned and in the twinkling of an eye they were ready for their evening walk. It was 7.15pm, the eleventh hour because the curfew started at 8pm and they needed to be back by then if they were to follow the letter of the law.

That day the powers that be, who sometimes seem to be a law unto themselves, had announced another 2 weeks of lockdown. Two weeks, in the scheme of things is only a drop in the bucket but many where at their wit’s end with the whole lockdown thing and just wanted to go out and eat, drink and be merry. But it was a sign of the times that this just wasn’t possible.

So Sean and Lido were outside for their walk, “We have plenty of time,” said Sean, but that was just the kiss of death on their evening wander. Sean put on his Ipod, Queen’s another one bites the dust was playing and off they went around their neighbourhood to see what they could see. As they went down the street they saw a person standing on the side of the road, “Isn’t that Sarah?” Sean said, Lido just wagged, “She must be out fighting the good fight, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” 

As they drew closer Sarah waved and, staying 1.5 metres away, said, “Hi Sean and Lido a little birdie told me you’d be out here about now I’ve come to ask you a favour.” 

“Go ahead,” said Sean, “We’re listening.” Turning off his music.

Sarah looked at them both and asked, “Do you remember Bubbie?”

“Big headed Bubbie? The mouth of the south? Yes, what’s he up to?”

“Well,” said Sarah, “He’s not doing too well at the moment and I was wondering if you could help him?”

“Well pride goes before a fall,” said Sean, “What’s he need?”

“A little money”

“What? The root of all evil!”

“Anyone of us could fall by the wayside” said Sarah, “He’s changed.”

“A leopard cannot change its spots, he always was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, OH see how the mighty have fallen.” intoned Sean.

“Yes they have, and there but for the grace of God, go you and I, and remember it is always better to give than to receive. You once said you’d go to the ends of the earth to help people and I don’t wish to put words in your mouth but he needs your help. Will you?”

Sean thought about it and looked at Lido who just wagged, “Well it would be sour grapes if I didn’t, of course I’ll help. When the writing’s on the wall it’s what we do isn’t it?”

“Thanks” Sarah said, “There’s just one fly in the ointment, he needs it now.” 

“Sure”, said Sean reaching for his wallet and handing over some money, “here, take this, will it be enough?”

“More than,” said Sarah.

“We’d better go if we are to finish our walk before curfew, we’ll just make it by the skin of our teeth if we go now. See you and thanks for looking us up, glad we could help.”

They waved goodbye and Lido got her walk, not as long as usual but she understood. She is, after all, a very clever dog.

THE END.

What a nice story. When Sara asked me to write this blog she said to write it on Proverbs. Well I looked up proverbs from the Bible that are still in everyday use and in that little story are 34 of them. Not all from the book of Proverbs but all from the Bible. See if you can spot them. On Tuesday evening we’ll put up the list of what they are and where they come from but this little story goes to show that there is nothing new under the sun. (Number 35, from Ecclesiastes 8).

S.

Category : #Bible , Pandemic , Siôn


Mexican Hot Chocolate Shortbread

These cookies taste like a mug of rich hot chocolate. The deep mocha-flavor is followed by a kick of cayenne pepper. Don’t let the heat put you off; it only enhances the flavor. 

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour 
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder or finely ground coffee 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips 
  • About 1/4 cup granulated sugar for dusting

Special Equipment: Cookie stamp (optional)

Instructions

Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

Whisk the flours together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter, vanilla, and almond extract until the mixture is pale in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the speed down to low, add the brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, espresso, salt, and cayenne pepper, and continue to mix until the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture in thirds until just combined. With the mixer running, sprinkle in the chocolate chips, mixing until just combined.

Transfer the dough to another bowl and finish mixing by hand to make sure no bits of flour or butter are hiding on the bottom of the bowl and the dough is thoroughly mixed.

Use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies, about 1 rounded tablespoon each, and place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between the cookies to allow for spreading.

Flatten each cookie with a cookie stamp dusted with granulated sugar, or gently flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand and then dust the tops with sugar. They will have little cracks in the top. Refrigerate the cookies for at least 1 hour, or up to 5 hours. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time for even doneness (see Tip). Cool the cookies completely on wire racks. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Tip: It is really difficult to tell when dark chocolate cookies are done. Pull them out when they are firm to the touch on the edges and the sweet smell of chocolate has begun to fill your kitchen. 

Sweet Note: I love stamping designs in the tops of our shortbread cookies. I use cookie stamps, which are available in a variety of designs, but I have also used the bottom of a decorative vintage glass in a pinch. To use, simply spray the stamp (or glass) lightly with cooking spray and dip into a plate of sugar, then lightly press into the cookie to emboss the design. You may have to reapply the cooking spray occasionally if the stamp starts to stick to the dough. 

This was originally found and is exactly what I have printed out, at https://www.splendidtable.org/story/2013/12/03/mexican-hot-chocolate-shortbread


The Gospel according to the Peanuts

Charles M. Schultz, Bantam Press, 1965

I’m taking a look at the Gospel According to Peanuts this morning.

In particular Linus and his blanket.

The Ministry team have been meeting at 930 am of a Sunday for a reflection together. This at the encouragement of our supervisor who we meet with each month for one hour.

The question asked of us to explore over the coming weeks was, what new freedoms have you discovered during the current restrictions?

It reminded me of our grandson Atticus and his blanky.

This item which was a t-shirt belonging to his mum, is something he took with him where ever he went.

If he became up-set he would find blanky and sit somewhere quietly and hang on to it, he would take it to bed with him and if uncertain about anything hang on to it for dear life.

He is a bit older now and is discovering different ways, new ways to manage stuff, blanky is still around but not seen as often, in fact rarely seen at all.

 It got me thinking about how I deal with stuff in the current situation we are in.

In the book by Robert Short, The Gospel According to Peanuts, based on the well know cartoon series, Peanuts.

Short describes the blanket, which belongs to Linus, one of the characters as, a portable security, a source of mental therapy and spiritual blotting paper soaking up fears and frustrations.

Linus describes his blanket as a yard of flannel that comes between him and a nervous break-down.

When asked by Charlie Brown what he would do when was too old to drag it around, Linus responded that he was thinking about having it made into a sports coat.

I’m now thinking about what my blanket is and maybe you are too?

Perhaps questions to consider.

Do we have a blanket?

What is it?

Do we need it?

What new freedoms are we discovering during the current restrictions?

This comic appeared in many newspapers.

Chloe’s not-Peter’s GF Pita Bread

In our cooking chat on Thursday the 3rd of September, Chloe showed us how to make some GF pita bread!

INGREDIENTS: 1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour, plus more for sprinkling 1 teaspoon xantham gum 35 grams (about 1/4 cup) tapioca starch 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon (14g) neutral oil (like vegetable, canola or grapeseed) 1 egg + 1 egg white at room temperature 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

RECIPE: Preheat oven to 400F (204C) Put baking pan or pizza stone (large flat surface) in oven to heat up Combine dry ingredients Add the oil and then the eggs and milk and beat (or process) the dough until it is very well-combined and parts begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl (about 2 minutes) Turn the dough out onto lightly flour surface Split into 8 equal parts Roll each part into a dough ball, pat into a disc and roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness Put discs onto a piece of parchment 1inch apart and put onto preheated baking tray in oven Bake for 2 minutes Working quickly, turn the pitas and bake for 1 minute on the other side Working quickly, turn them again and baked until puffed and golden (minute or so)

And it has pocketses!!


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