Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The bagel recipe post..

Here's a new pic, just taken, of one of the R.I. Reds new tail feathers. I see the downy feathers constantly shedding (they grown up so fast! ), but you don't really see the new ones come in most of the time, cause they just kind of pop in behind the ones that are already there. These tail feathers just sort of sprouted up overnight, so they were easy to see. You might have to squint to see 'em, but they're there. Check it!

So here's my current iteration of the best bagel recipe in the world. It's good stuff.

Mike's Super-Fantastic Mega-Bagels


* 2 cups warm water (472 grams), about 110 degrees F
* 2 packets active dry yeast (or 14 grams total)
* 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (42 grams), plus 1 tablespoon(14 grams)
* 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour (~130 grams per cup = 650-780 grams total)
* 2 teaspoons salt (12 grams)
* 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (just wing it, here..)

Optional, yet mandatory, Toppings:

* 1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped onions (2 teaspoons each)
* 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
* 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
* 1 tablespoon kosher salt (about 1/4 teaspoon each)


Combine the water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons (42 grams) of the sugar in the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 4 cups (520 grams) of the flour and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together.

Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups )130 to 195 grams) additional flour 1/2 cup at a time to make a stiff dough, either stirring with the wooden spoon or working with your hands. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed. (Dough should be heavier and stiffer than regular yeast bread dough.)

Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled, about 1 hour.

Remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Divide into 8 equal pieces, about 4 to 5 ounces each, measuring about 4 inches across. Roll each piece into a 4 to 6-inch log. Join the ends and place fingers through the hole and roll the ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen but not doubled in a draft-free spot, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet with the remaining teaspoon of oil.

In a large, heavy pot, bring 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil. A couple at a time, add the bagels to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip bagels onto the prepared sheet pan. Add whatever toppings you have there at this time. The stuff should stick to the bagels now, cause they're sorta sticky from being boiled. Then, bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they look fantastic.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

And what you've all been waiting for...

..it's chickens! They finally arrived! It's Sunday morning now while I'm typing this, but I picked 'em up (with the girls in tow) from the shop at just after noon time on Friday. Just getting around to posting about 'em here now, although I did Facebook a bit about 'em when I first got 'em. A Blog post is a bit more involved, you see. Had to spend some quality time to figure out all these fancy words I'm tying right now.

So here's the little scrubs (all five of 'em..) hanging out around the feeder. It took me about an hour to get the temp adjusted just right in the box for them.. I mean, I had the temp set just right to what I thought was going to be ideal (95 degrees is the published norm for first weeker's..), but when I got them in there, the Barred Rock's were clearly irritated by the high temps and were starting to pant a bit. The others seemed a bit sluggish, but weren't panting, so I jacked the heat lamp up about 4 inches and everything changed for the better really quick. Now, they're happy as pie and doing quite well. It looks like they seem happiest with about a 90-93 degree temp spread as measured at the bottom of the box.

Here's a closeup shot of a few of the buggers. The Black one is one of the Barred Rock's, and I can't tell from this pic which of the three orange colored beauties is the sole Golden Comet.. You sorta need to see their faces in order to tell the Comet apart from the two Rhodey's... The Comet is a bit fluffier and maybe a smidgen larger than the Reds... but we're talking about a gram or two larger. Hardly noticeable. Plus, the Comet doesn't have the same somewhat darker orange stripe of fluff down the back of the head as the Reds do.

In non-chicken related news, I came home to try and pull a pint of the Pale Ale I made with Jody a while back, only to find FOAM about an inch into the process as the keg breathed it's last. . Ah well.. It's since been replaced by a new keg of Max's Pale Ale (of Max's oyster bar, etc, fame..) which is a beer brewed by Thomas Hooker Beer in Bloomfield, CT. It's a fairly red colored beer and prominently caramel in flavor.. I think I'd style it more as a Red or Amber beer, but they're calling it a Pale Ale. Who am I to argue?

Well, looks like I'm off to the park with the family, so while I'm doing that, you cheapskates can start clicking the Google Ad to your right there, and bring in the $$$'s for me. Get to it!