Bagels! The very word makes my mouth water. And making them does not require any extra brain-flexing on my part because most bagel recipes are usually wonderfully vegan to begin with.
You might wonder why I go to the trouble of making them. After all, a good (and vegan) bagel is really not that hard to find. But, and I swear to this, the joy of eating a homemade bagel is quite something else. Also, making them at home makes it more possible to control the ingredients, which is vital if you're a health nut like me.
This time I paired off my bagels with another one of my breakfast favorites- a tofu scramble. I love this combination because it makes for an extremely hearty, super-delicious, and, needless to say, healthy meal.
I am not going to ramble on too long here. Just one quick note- I used a combination of bread flour, whole-wheat flour and whole-wheat pastry flour. Once they were ready to go into the oven, I topped the bagels with three different flavors- black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Coarse sea salt would also make a great topping.
I know went a little crazy with the pictures of the bagels, but oooh...I just love those babies!
For the Tofu Scramble, which is of course inspired by the Indian egg burji, I would strongly advise using silken firm tofu. While regular firm tofu would do well enough at a pinch, the texture of the silken tofu does a great job mimicking the texture of eggs.
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 package)
1 1/4 cup warm (not hot) water
Mix together the yeast and water in the bowl of a food processor (fitted with a metal blade), or in any other large bowl, and leave on the counter for 5 minutes to ensure the yeast is alive and well. If it is, it will tell you so by turning all frothy.
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp maple syrup
Add to the food processor all three flours.
Add 1 tsp salt and maple syrup.
Process for a 45 seconds to a minute until the dough comes together. If the dough is too dry, add small quantities of water. The finished dough will be slightly but not too sticky.
Turn the flour on a lightly floured countertop and knead for a couple of minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and set aside to rise in a warm place, about two hours. At the end of this, the dough should have doubled.
Turn the dough onto the counter and punch it down. Cover it and let it stand another 10 minutes.
Now divide the dough into eight pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
Make a hole with your finger in the center of each ball. Then hook both thumbs inside the hole and pull the sides outward until the hole expands to about 2-3 inches. It will look a little funny at this stage, but rest assured the dough will pull back and rise enough so you end up with a good-looking bagel.
After you have shaped all the bagels, let them rest on the countertop, covered loosely, for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Boil water in a larger pot. When it comes to a rolling boil, drop the bagels, one at a time, into the water. Let each side cook for about a minute. They will still look funny- kinda like when your fingers look when you're in the shower too long. Lift out with a slotted spoon, drain, and place on an oiled rack.
Grease a baking sheet and, if you really want to ensure your bagels don't stick, dust it with some cornmeal. Place the bagels on the sheet, brush the tops with water, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Before you place the bagels in a preheated 400-degree oven, spray the inside with water. Bake the bagels for about 25 minutes, spraying water again after 5 minutes of baking.
Remove to a wire rack to cool (although there's nothing in the world like a warm bagel!).
1 package silken firm tofu
1/2 red onion, minced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
1 cup chopped cabbage (you can substitute with veggies like red or green peppers, scallions, broccoli...the possibilities are endless)
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 tsp turmeric (optional, but it does give great color)
1 ripe red chili, chopped (use 2 green chilies if you don't have the red. Chilies found at Indian stores or even a jalapeno would work great here)
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
Lemon or lime juice
Heat the canola oil in a saucepan.
Add the cumin seeds and when they crackle, add the onions.
Saute the onions for a few minutes until they start to brown.
Add the ginger and stir it in.
Add the turmeric and chili and stir in.
Add the mushrooms and cabbage and cook until they are fairly tender with a slight bite to them.
Now add the silken firm tofu, crumbled into small pieces, and stir to mix with the spices and veggies.
Add salt to taste, then take off the heat, garnish with coriander, spritz with some lemon juice, and serve hot.
I had already sent in my whole-wheat challah to Mansi for her Weekend Breakfast Blogging: Balanced Breakfast event, but I cannot resist: I have to send this too. Hope you can use it, Mansi!