MmM..my Cookin..

Baking bagels..

Today is bagel baking day.. Salt, wheat, corn, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, chocolate chip, oat, onion, plain, possibilities are endless with this simple recipe.

Assorted homemade bagels

Bagels:

Yield 6 larger, 8 regular size, or 12 smaller bagels

375* F bake time: 20-30 mins prep time: 15 mins plus 1 hour for proofing

1 cup water
1/2 cup warm milk (105*F)
2 pkg. instant yeast (4tsp.+1/2 tsp.)
3 1/2 loose cups of flour ( I use all-purpose or 1 c. all-purpose and 2 1/2 c wheat)
1 tbsp. Salt
3 tbsp. Sugar
4 tbsp. Butter, soft

Bring milk to hot to touch temperature. If it burns you, it will burn your yeast! Too cold and your yeast will be cold. Yeast is a live product, so treat it kindly!

Meanwhile, in a glass measuring cup add salt, sugar, and dry yeast. Add warm milk to cup and stir gently just enough to break up lumps. Leave the mixture sit about 10 mins, it should become foamy and almost double in size.

While your waiting to activate your yeast, add flour and sliced soft butter to a large bowl. Add your yeast mixture into the flour and butter. I like to use my hand to melt the butter in the warm milk. Add the water and start mixing. Once the flour is pretty much incorporated I like to remove dough onto a floured surface and knead about 5 mins until it forms a ball or until it’s not sticky enough to stick to your hands. Spray the doughs original large bowl with nonstick spray as well as the top of the dough. Cover with towel and let rise for an hour. It will double in size!

What to do to pass the hour?
In a pot bring about 4 quarts of water to a simmer. I filled my pot with about 6″ of water brought to a slow boil reduced heat and it has been simmering for 3 hours now, just had to finally add water to it. Also if you plan on adding flavors or toppings get your pans ready now. I used aluminum pie pans for my toppings, so it was large enough to fit bagel without hitting anything. Then I got my fillings ready. I also find it easier to handle the dough when one side is covered in a large grained corn meal, will explain in a little bit.

Bagel toppings

So the hour has passed, now your excited to start making the bagels and putting every topping that passed your mind on a bagel..yes I did exactly that, a little of everything!

You can use 1tsp. Of sugar or honey just to give it a little shine and flavor, I used sugar, you can't taste it.

You can use 1tsp. Of sugar or honey just to give it a little shine and flavor, I used sugar, you can’t taste it.

Split the dough to the desired size, they won’t rise much more than this size you pick. This is the part you would had flavors like cinnamon or blueberries to the inside. I like to tuck the dough under a couple times to get a smooth top and to seal the flavors inside the dough. Next flour your finger and slip it thru the middle, keep your finger floured and put the dough ring on your finger and make a circle motion stretching the bagel out some. Click Shaping bagels.. for a video demonstration.

Floured surface

Once all the balls are shaped give them a hot bath. I easily fit 4 bagels at a time, about 20 secs on each side, then remove with a slotted spatula, drain well. For most of my flavors I put the dipped bagels on a tray with corn meal, then flipped into a topping pan. My sweet bagels I just dipped right into toppings.

Corn meal for bottoms of bagels

Carefully place bagels on a greased cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. I personally don’t use an egg wash, but this is when you would put it on, then bake.

These do freeze well when wrapped good. I would make sure to eat frozen bagels in 3 months. Hope you had as much fun as I did!

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MmM..my Cookin..

Buttercream icing from scratch..

Good morning y’all!  Today I will be sharin with you my trial and error in making homemade buttercream icing. I tried 3 different basic recipes all of them consist of the same ingredients, but give you a different consistency and taste. Of course the more powdered sugar you add the stiffer the icing, to thin icing simply add a tablespoon of milk. All you will need is flavoring (vanilla extract or whatever flavor you prefer), powdered sugar, milk, and fat (shortening or butter).

Buttercream icing with butter:

1 cup butter

3-4 cups powered sugar ( depends on how thick you want icing)

2 tsp. vanilla or your choice of extract

2-4 tablespoons milk ( depending on how thin you want icing)

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar 1 cup at a time until mixed well. Once the sugar and butter mixture starts to crumble slowly add the milk until you achieve the consistency you desire. Last add your flavor.

Buttercream with butter

I hope my photos are good enough that you can see the grains in the icing. Yes I am cheap and always looking for a deal. Can’t beat 4 sticks of butter for .75 cents, excepts it’s not real butter and doesn’t contain enough fat in it. Even though this recipe is my favorite tasting one, I will not use this to ice or decorate a cake. This icing taste just like a can of icing bought from the store. However is it a little runny and the color doesn’t mix well. It leaves a grainy look.

Buttercream with shortening:

Buttercream with shortening

This recipe is just simply replacing butter with shortening, and following the same steps above. I find this icing better for decorating. It is a lot stiffer than with butter and holds its shape nice. I don’t prefer the texture of this one, I find it a little greasy.

Buttercream with butter and shortening:

Buttercream with butter and shortening

I find this recipe the best out of the 3 I tried. It taste good, not greasy and the consistency is perfect. Of course you can thicken it up a little more with extra powder sugar to decorate or leave as is for a perfect creamy icing. All you have to do is split 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening, beat until creamy. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time. Last add your desired amount of milk and your favorite flavor. If you want to color this icing, use a gel icing so it won’t break down your icing.

I hope you learned something from my trial and error run on homemade buttercream icing!

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