Half-hour bagels

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Posted: Friday, May 15, 2020 6:24 am

My fourth-grader and his classmates have been working on science fair projects the past month. After asking the internet for ideas, the kiddo decided on the moldy bread experiment, which shows how exposure to germs impacts the rate of mold growth on bread.

It’s basically a scare tactic for kids to wash their hands more often. He thought the subject matter was timely. I thought it was a great idea because we excel at growing mold on bread.

The kiddo is on take two of his experiment. He started with storebought sliced bread. Eighteen days later he had stinky, soggy bread but no visible mold and had learned a lot about food preservatives. I learned that I need to keep my inhaler on me at all times until this project is done.

The kiddo tried again using bakery-fresh buns and his project is looking suitably disgusting. He thinks it’s great because he’s always been a fan of science experiments, especially those in the kitchen – whether it’s making oobleck or edible playdough, or just mixing vinegar and baking soda.

And recipes are essentially just food-based science experiments, like the two-ingredient bagels that have been all over the internet lately. Traditional bagels have a yeast dough that needs to rise, and you have to boil and bake the bagels. It’s a long process. How could two ingredients replace all that effort? I had to try it.

To be fair, I used more than two ingredients. I made my own self-rising flour using bread flour, and added egg wash and toppings. But they were still done in about a half-hour.

The bagels don’t rise as much as their traditional counterparts and are less dense, but I actually prefer this, especially for bagel sandwiches. It’s a better ratio of bagel to fillings, so you taste the whole sandwich, not just the bagel.

And they’re healthier, with half the fat and calories of even the smaller storebought bagels.

You can leave the bagels plain or top them as desired. For the hubby I sprinkled some with shredded sharp cheddar cheese the last few minutes of baking. I liked DIY everything bagel seasoning on mine: a sprinkle each of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt, garlic powder and dried minced onion.  

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