Thursday, March 27, 2014

Baking Bread and Bagels and Breaking Boredom

I was in the middle of a software project and realized I was squinting.

Getting a headache is never a way to build a web server, so I pushed away from the computer.   It was time to do something else. 

This PC stuff can get tired after a while, so I had something else to clear my mind.

Since my freezer was getting low on stocks, I knew that I had to make some rolls.   Actually I started out making Challah Bagels with Raisins but since the dough turned out a bit wet, I went with rolls instead.  The reason was that the raisins needed to soak in water to plump up.  All that water had to go somewhere, and it went right into the rolls to make things taste sweet.

Trying to make a bagel shape with sticky dough is annoying on a good day and I needed to relax. 

The main difference between a bagel and a roll is not the shape.  Bagels are "par-boiled" 30 seconds a side in a bath of water and malt sugar, molasses, or some other semi sweet "goo".  If you're taking notes, it's 1 tablespoon per cup of water.  

I started up the challah dough in my big mixer and realized I was out of "regular rolls" too.  So out came "Mother" and I started the bread machine making sourdough dough at the same time.

Yes, I had two different processes going at once.

Timing being what it was, I got the Challah dough done before the Sourdough came out of the bread machine.  80 grams per roll, 120 grams per "baguette". 

I was able to let the Challah rolls rise while making up the sourdough rolls and took a break.

All better.  The house began to fill with the scent of rising bread.  Very few simple pleasures are as fine as the scent of rising dough and baking bread.  It's elemental.

After I realized that nothing was rising any longer, I started on the parboiling of the Challah rolls.  That was why they ended up so dark brown.  I managed to get the rolls to have the chewy outside that you expect from a proper Bagel, but had a shape that would hold my breakfast.

A little butter and they would toast up well on the skillet the next day.

I tend to underbake my rolls anyway.  I  could leave them in the oven longer and go for the Golden Brown look but the sourdough is intended to be toasted.  If you toast them and they're dark brown you may not get the desired results. 

Brown and Serve rolls are basically slightly "underbaked" so you can put them in the oven to finish them off.

After all was done, I managed to eat up an afternoon plus one of those bagels rolls.  My head cleared nicely and I got the LAMP stack on my Debian Linux computer working quite nicely indeed.

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