I called my Dad (a.k.a. Downtown Tom) the other morning but he couldn’t talk – he was busy making bagels. He’d never made bagels before, but he does bake and is pretty good with recipes involving yeast (I remember eating lots of his homemade glazed doughnuts when I was a kid). Calorie-wise he was recovering from a holiday season filled with homemade fruitcake and cinnamon rolls and was determined that, if he was going to cut calories and increase nutrition, he was going to have a good time doing it.

He sounded happy, and I had a good time listening to his bagel-making adventures. He’s now my first guest blogger – here’s Handmade Water Bagels, by Downtown Tom:

I had a hankering for a water bagel this morning. Having already looked on store shelves, I knew they are difficult to find.

Therefore I pulled my bread hook off the shelf and downloaded several recipes from the Internet. There were two that caught my attention and I began my efforts.

Looking at recipe number two I dissolved my yeast in water. Then proceeding with recipe number one I added salt, sugar and whole wheat flour and began cranking the bread hook.

Made by MIRRO

I cranked a little more than recipe number two suggested and a bit less than recipe one. I was worrying because the dough was quite ugly and it was not holding together. I stopped cranking and made a ball, covered it and let it rise for twenty minutes as suggested by recipe one. Or, was it recipe two? I became uncertain.

I mistakenly put the dough on the mantle to raise and the metal bowl was hot to the touch. I had hoped it had not begun baking.

Back to the counter I began shaping the bagels. I ignored both recipes and used the Play Dough method. After cutting the dough into eight pieces, I rolled each into a ball and continued rolling the dough in my hands until it became long and skinny. I made a circle and squeezed the ends together.

I plopped the shapes in boiling water for ninety seconds and turned them for another ninety seconds. This was the average of the two recipes.

They were put on a paper towl to dry. Some were sprinkled with poppy seed, some with flax seed, and some with sesame seed. They went into the oven for ten minutes, turned and baked for ten more minutes. The oven and the times were again an average of the two recipes.

After cooling, I had tuna salad on three/fourths and orange marmalade on one/fourth.

The bagels were has good as those we bought at Petrofsky’s Bakery.

Always bake with two recipes.

The mouthwatering finished product.