When I spend my money eating out, I want something that I can’t make at home. Bagels are a good example of this. Bread in general. I just don’t have the time or schedule to fit bread-making into my life. Well, I didn’t until shelter in place happened.
At first, I was buying bags of bread and storing them in the freezer. I had been buying freshly made bread from the store’s bakery trying to reduce my plastic waste, but then we couldn’t bring reusable bags so the plastic waste was accumulating. I broke out my old Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book, but realized I no longer had the baking stone or container I used for that recipe, plus the yeast I had expired and I when I went to buy a fresh batch, it wasn’t on the shelves!
I talked with my mother-in-law and she said I should try no-knead bread. It’s something I had always wanted to try, but I just really didn’t even have time for that. Plus the whole yeast situation. A little voice in my head (and maybe a few on the internet) started saying “Sourdough.” No way, I responded. That’s just crazy talk. And I didn’t have a dutch oven, even though it’s something I’d been wanting for years.
“Sourdough.” The voice was persistent.
Ok. Ok! I finally responded. I knew of a few people on-line that I could refer to for help. Zerowastechef, renatebakes and even Miyoko from Miyoko’s creamery was teaching how to easily and nonchalantly make sourdough bread during her daily 1 hour Miyoko’s Home Comforts Facebook show, which is really great and you should check it out if you haven’t seen it.
When trying to figure out which technique was more economical (5-minute a day or sourdough), I came to the conclusion that besides the flour, the only new kitchen appliance I needed for sourdough was the aforementioned dutch oven. These come in a variety of styles and price ranges. I’d been hoping to find one at a thrift store, but I had no luck. During quarantine, the thrift stores had closed, so I searched online and found that Target had an affordable cast iron option.
By week two of shelter in place, I had all the supplies I needed to get my sourdough bread making journey on the road! With some trial and error for about another week, I finally had the kinks worked out, and I made my first perfect loaf. Like any proud parent in the internet age, I promptly posted a photo on Instagram. Then, a friend of mine sent me a link to New York style sourdough bagels.
Again, my brain resisted. It said, “Now that’s REALLY crazy talk.” I laughed in agreement. No way!
The thing is, my favorite bagel brand hadn’t been in stores in months and no other bagels seemed to compare to them. I love a good bagel; I hate spending money trying to find a good bagel. The recipe had everything broken down into what seemed like very manageable steps.
I decided to give it a go.
I also decided to film myself giving it a go because if it was easy, I wanted to show you how easy it was. If it was difficult, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.
The bagels turned out perfect! The process was very easy, and I had fun filming it. I decided that the entire process was probably too long and too boring to show in length so I broke it down to focus more on what you can expect or how I went about it as a newbie to any of this.