So the recipe called for active dry yeast instead of instant yeast and I'm more used to using instant yeast. I was successful with the active dry yeast but I think next time I make these I'll try with instant yeast to see if it makes any difference.
The recipe called for the dough (once it had risen, been punched down and separated into equal portions) to be rolled out into 10 inch long ropes. Then the ends had to be joined together to form a circle. After the first couple bagels were complete, I found that 10 inches was quite long and would result in rather thin bagels (and it did). So the rest I tried to do with shorter ropes and found more satisfying results. I don't have pictures of all the steps leading up to the poaching (never knew bagels had to be poached until today), unfortunately. Annalise had great fun rolling out her own bagels and her two got to go on her own special tray in the oven. By they way, hers turned way better than mine - funny how that happens.
So here's pictures starting at the poaching of the bagels:
Poaching the bagels - I had doubts about this process and was pleasantly surprised that it all worked out. :)
Poached bagels are ready for the oven - sesame seeds sprinkled on top. This is close to the end of the whole batch. Annalise freaked out at the idea of seeds on the bagels so we left one plain for her.
Bagels baking in the oven. :)
These are the ones Annalise made - turned out way nicer than mine. :) One with seeds (heaven forbid!) and one without. :) She was so excited to eat them that when we told her they had cooled down enough and it was supper time, she ran with it to the table, prayed and started eating before Darran and I could get there! They were so delicious and fluffy. I know bagels at the store tend to be quite heavy so I'm not sure if this is just a different kind of bagel (apparently it's the New York style bagels that are quite heavy) or if I did something wrong, but we were quite pleased with them! :)
We topped them with our own flavoured cream cheese - Maple Cream Cheese and Garlic Cream Cheese. To make Maple Cream Cheese, you buy plain cream cheese, use about half the small container and add about 1 tbsp of maple syrup. Blend well. For the Garlic Cream Cheese, you use half the small container of plan cream cheese and add about a 1/4 tsp of garlic powder (though next time I will try Epicure's Herb & Garlic seasoning) and blend well.
My next creative kitchen adventure will be making Naan bread and I promise to blog about that one too! :)