Thanksgiving Bagel Feast!

This is our second year of a new tradition – bagels, cream cheese, lox and capers for Thanksgiving breakfast. This breakfast creates no mess in the kitchen, few dishes and full bellies to hold us until dinner (we’re lunch skippers on this day…).
Yesterday I did all of my shopping a little late and 😦 the bagel store was already closed. Oh no! I would have to make bagels. So much for not messing up the kitchen. I found a good recipe on – The Real New York Bagel Recipe and followed it pretty well.

NY Bagels (makes a dozen)

Last night I made a sponge which sits for 2 hours until you get little bubbles in the dough (tells you its rising). I used 1 tsp active dry yeast, 4 cups bread flour and 2 cups water…. I waited for 2 hours…no bubbles…another half hour…no bubbles…another….hmm. Turns out you need to ‘activate’ active dry yeast in a little warm water. Once its a little frothy you can use it.
I tossed the first batch and started again.
New York Bagels- take 2!
This sponge looked much better – so active!

bagel sponge

bagel sponge

Next I put it in the stand mixer and put 3 more cups of bread flour, another 1/2 tsp of yeast (activated – fool me once!), 2 tsp salt and a Tbsp of brown sugar (other recipes as for malt…but this was the only recipe that called for something already in my house – just to give you some insight into my recipe selection process process).

After 5 minutes of mixing, I chopped it into 12 pieces and then covered with plastic wrap again to let the dough recover from being thrown about.
twelve pieces of dough

Half an hour later I took each piece and poked a hole in the middle of it and twirled it around my index finger like a little finger hula hoop. Voila – it looks like a bagel!
bagel dough rings
I let the little rings rest up again and stuck the whole thing in the fridge until this morning.

Today this went sooo fast! I boiled water with 1 Tbsp baking soda and dropped these doughy bagels in the water for 2-3 minutes (flipping them halfway thru). They got all puffy and wow!
puffy boiled bagel

Next they all went on a cookie sheet and baked at 450 for something like 30 minutes. Well, the recipe said 5 minutes…then another 5-10 minutes…but mine took much longer bit longer because I was opening the door way too often for the oven to stay hot).

Bad over door habits and rookie yeast move aside, the kitchen now has this tangy, doughy smell, the windows are steamed up, and we have bagels!
New York bagels


Looking for the Pork Store…Take 4

After a much exhaustive search, we’ve found our breakfast place here in Portland. Fat Alberts down in the Sellwood area (where the antique shops are) has a great breakfast…and best of all, thy can accommodate B’s strange bacon fancy – so done that it shatters if dropped on the table. Of course they also cook it the ‘right’ way too. The best seat in the house is the counter where you get to hear all of that wonderful kitchen banter…When there last, B ordered the full blueberry pancake stack. Great – but he ate exactly half of it. His new nickname is ‘short stack’

Looking for the Pork Store – take 2

Well….its Saturday again 🙂 We ended up at Byways back in the Pearl. It was mentioned as being kitchy and having Stumptown Coffee. Stumptown is the local coffee here. We’d knew the breakfast couldn’t be that bad if they cared about their coffee.
This picture is about the kitch. Random coffee mugs….I like this sort of thing. Notice the sugar dispenser…
The menu was pretty on par with The Pork Store…lots of dishes that pile the basic breakfast items in varied ways. At The Pork Store…I liked The Tasty Nest. hash browns, eggs, bacon, cheese, green pepper, tomato…all together. Here I ordered an omelet with similar ingredients as above…side of sour dough…not like SF sour dough though. I think that they should just call it ‘tangy white’ when you aren’t in SF.
We were squinting at the Banff National Park banner on the ceiling (because ‘4-letters: Banff National Park locale’ was a NYTimes crossword clue today…and we were at a loss) when Bryan says…this coffee tastes a little…salty. I didn’t think he meant that literally. I tasted mine.. YUCK! We told our waiter that we thought there was salt in the sugar shaker. Sure enough…he hurriedly collected several off the nearby tables. The second cup was much better…and the breakfast was good for the price…but no Pork Store. We’ll keep looking

Looking for Pork Store?

One of the hardest things about leaving SF was leaving The Pork Store. We’ve dedicated at least one weekend morning a week to finding a good replacement. This week – Fuller’s Coffee Shop, a Portland landmark down in the Pearl. I like the U-shaped counters. Everyone is at the counter. no tables…! The breakfast was good – eggs (scrambled), hashbrowns (crunchy), toast (home-made bread) and sausage links (would’ve liked the patty-kind). thought the eggs were on par with The Pork Store and the toast actually exceeded our hometown favorite… it’s no Pork Store. We’ll keep searching…