Making mini portions of a recipe is such a fun little trick! You feel like you’re being good by having a smaller portion, when in actuality you probably eat three times as much, because little food items are sooo scrumptiously cute.
Bagels are a fun item to make small because then they seem similar to those mini gem donuts! Well, except for the chocolate and sugar, and sprinkles… well, maybe not so similar. However this situation does help explain a special food principle: sometimes, it’s all about the hole. Angel food cake, pineapple rings, donuts, (um… I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I actually just googled “food with holes,” glad to see no Courtney Love results yet…), yes: swiss cheese, lifesavers, cherrios, I think you get the point, err I mean the hole! Holes can be a huge part of the personality package that a food item comes wrapped up in.
So, where does that leave me in my bagel discussion? Getting that bagel hole just right is a tricky science! I tried three different ways to get my bagel shapes, and I’m still searching… any East Coasters willing to help out a West Coast gal with her bagel holes?
Method one: actually following the bagel recipe I found in Best American Recipes 2003-2004, roll out your chunks of dough into snakes with tappered ends. Roll your snake into a circle, and “join the ends to make a doughnut shape, overlapping them by about 1 inch, and form into a smooth perfect circle”.
Method two: after bagels of method one came un-smooth in the cooking, take the ends of your snake, and form a doughnut shape. Now really smash the bejeebers out of the ends, pinching and mashing them together really well, thus resulting in an un-perfect looking circle when the cooking process is finished
Method three: ditch the snakes and make little balls of dough. Poke a hole in the center with a chopstick and force your finger in there good. Now, force a second finger and stretch out that little hole really well. Thus resulting in bagels that look more like little buns with a slight hole. Hrmmmm.
Well, pretty or not, these mini bagels are a cute chewy breakfast treat that really take well to being dressed up with a number of flavors. My favorite variety was roasted garlic mixed into the bagel dough and topped with dehydrated garlic crunchie bits. Other variations: rosemary parmesan, sesame seed, poppyseed, chedder jalapeno… you name it! Cuting a recipe down to make only 8 bagels, like this one, means you can experiment with all sorts of bagel flavors to wow your co-workers with. That is, if you feel like sharing…
Cute Mini Bagels
This recipe is based on a much larger and slightly different bagel recipe in the Best American Recipes 2003- 2004.
Makes a batch of 8 smaller-than-palm-sized bagels.
Preheat the oven to 425F.
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of molasses
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast
And briefly set aside.
In a food processor, combine:
- 2 cups of high gluten flour (or use regular flour mixed with 3 Tbs of gluten flour)
- any dry flavoring ingredients for inside the dough, such as herbs or parmesan cheese
Stir up your liquid yeasty mixture and slowly pour into the dry ingredients while the food processor is running. Check the feel of the dough for proper flour to moisture level and adjust accordingly (the dough shouldn’t be sticky but kind of shiny and plastic looking). Allow the dough to sit covered for 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, and shape into bagel shapes using your choosen method of shapping (see above note on methods). Allow the formed bagels to sit for 5 minutes, covered loosely with a cloth.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and prep your last bagel playground. Assemble ingredients to press into the top of your bagels on a plate (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic crunchies, seasoned salt, cheese…). Each batch uses approximately 2-3 Tbs of topping.
Boil each bagel individually for 10 seconds, or until they float to the water’s surface. Immediately remove and place on to the plate of dry toppings. Shake off excess toppings and place your bagel on a baking sheet, topping side up. Finish the batch of bagels in this manner.
Place the bagels in the oven and bake at 425F for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. If bagels won’t be consumed in the same day as they are being made, cook them for only have the time and then freeze in this par-baked state. The frozen bagels can be defrosted and baked or toasted to golden brown as needed.