I first heard of this book when I took a bread baking class at Central Market and once I looked through it, I had to add it to my Christmas list. Since the cold weather has really been getting to me lately (snow was fun, but can it be spring now?!) I thought I'd bake my way thorough the book, a la Julie and Julia. This gives me something to do on my days off and warms up the apartment. Ross, of course, is fully supportive of this goal.
I also harbor a (not-so-secret-anymore) desire to own a bakery/coffee shop one day like the one I fell in love with in Canada. They had organic, healthy, and mostly local food... that tasted GOOD! I can make cakes, cookies, and muffins all the livelong day, but this is good practice for more complex "artisan" bakery offerings that require patience.
Today was doubly great because boiling and then baking the bagels at 500 degrees F really warmed up the kitchen AND the sun was shining outside! I could almost pretend it was Texas weather. In fact, the sunshine so cheered me up that I was actually able to drag my lazy bum to the gym!
Back to the bagels... I'm afraid to put the actual recipes here for copyright reasons, but I still took nerdy pictures! This was the stiffest dough I have ever made. I still don't think my wonderful Kitchen Aid mixer has forgiven me. Once the dough rested, it was much more friendly.
Bread Note: Next time, I won't boil the bagels all at once since I had to bake them in three rounds due to my non-industrial -sized oven. The ones that had to sit around between boiling and baking got soggy, lumpy, and flattened a little. They still taste good and don't look too bad once the toppings are on them, but you can tell they're a bit more dense.
In the meantime, Ross was also enjoying HIS Christmas present today! My parents and my mom's parents gave him Best Buy gift cards and he bought a really nice computer screen last week. Apparently in the design world, nice computer screens make all the difference. He then ordered the desktop tower from Dell, personalized to his "designing needs," and it arrived today! I don't think he got much sleep last night with all the anticipation!
Also, Ross said the day he ordered the desktop, the "Y" key stopped working on his laptop. I think it must know it's about to be replaced and wants to know the reason! After seeing the shiny new computer, though, I'm starting to understand "why" it's so much better.