It feels so good to be back after two weeks! I have been stock piling recipes during my absence and I’m pretty sure these Brown Sugar Raisin Bagels are the best thing I’ve made in ages!
March was one of the busiest months I’ve had since the holidays. We had a huge joint birthday party for Patrick’s kids. That alone took two weeks planning and 3 days of prep work. I started a new position at work that actually has a better schedule, but it completely threw off the days I usually reserve for pictures. Now I am trying to find ways to use my artificial lights. These gorgeous bagels came to life early one morning so I was able to take advantage of the morning light.
Eventually I will find a way to balance my work and blog, but for today we are just going to dive right into these bagels.
We were grocery shopping a few weeks ago and saw a little tub of brown sugar cream cheese. Now I’m sure I have just been living under a rock, but I had no idea this stuff existed! Here is just a little insight into how my recipes come to be – first ingredient cream cheese. Now what is the best way to savor a spoonful of brown sugar cream cheese? More brown sugar obviously! Next raisins because I wanted a little extra flavor. I wasn’t really sure if I was making a bread or bagels until I got home.
I really wanted a nice crust so I knew it was going to be bagels. These have the perfect chew with a nice crust and more brown sugar crumble. They were pretty much perfect to slather with cream cheese!
Something about this time of year always has me craving banana bread. It probably has something to do with the fact that I always try and increase my fruit and veggie intake at the beginning of the year. This year we are going to try out whole 30. I am excited to really clean up our diets and detox, but I’m not thrilled about giving up dairy.
You can obviously skip the dark chocolate to reduce the sugar in this recipe, but I love the way the chocolate melts into the bread. My favorite way to enjoy this bread is toasted with a little butter. There are not a lot of ingredients. I tried to make it as much about the bananas as possible.
Since this bread is so focused on the bananas you end up with a really moist treat. Nothing is worse then a piece of dry breakfast bread. I think next time I might swap the chocolate out for raisins and pecans.
Something about fresh baked bread just gives my house such a homey feel. We do not eat a lot of bread believe it or not which is really hard on my Italian roots. My mother makes some of the greatest bread I have ever had. Growing up we always had home made yeast rolls with any special meal. While my family is not a fan of olives, I am obsessed! I love all kinds. The saltier the better. These olives I picked up from a local farmers market. Marinated in garlic, pepper, olive oil and thyme. I added the cheddar for a little creaminess and one more kick of salt.
Since I have so much salt added to the bread I added a little extra sugar. It created the perfect balance of flavor in this yeast dough. I let the dough rise on the pan at room temperature then cut my slits into the dough. Then I allowed it to cold rise in the fridge for 30 minutes. I find that allowing the dough to rise in a colder environment gives you a much flakier crust.
Cream biscuits are the most fool proof recipes that I can find. Sometimes I find recipes that I think will work, but they are too dry or too greasy. My perfect biscuit has a nice crust, salty sweet flavor, and a soft flaky middle.
Growing up in a small southern town you are basically required to have a go to biscuit recipe. The summer I turned 16, I dragged my girl friends to a small house party my new boy friend was throwing. The boys were playing cards and all the girls were squeezed onto a very old couch trying to find music to liven things up. The guy I was seeing had just finished telling all the guys at the table how the perfect woman would be able to serve up mile high butter biscuits from scratch. Yep, he would know he had met his future wife when he found the perfect biscuit. I remember thinking to myself “sorry buddy, not only do I not eat biscuits, but I definitely do not serve them.”
Needless to say, we broke up about a week later. Now I didn’t know it then, but soon after I found my love of food. Pretty soon I was not only making biscuits from scratch, but I had created my own go to recipe that was a perfect blend of all that I had learned. If you take anything away from my rambling please remember this- do not twist the biscuit cutter. This had never occurred to me before until I read a great article on Pinterest. (of course) I used to use a glass to cut my biscuit dough. I would twist back and forth until I had formed the perfect shape. I picked up a metal biscuit cutter and now I just press down one time, no twist. This allows the dough to rise and expand. This is how to achieve that mile high biscuit.
A few years ago one of my coworkers brought me breakfast. A breakfast that I can never forget. A giant piping hot toasted blueberry bagel overflowing with raspberry cream cheese and fresh strawberries. It was one of the best bagels I have ever eaten. The mix of berries and that perfect chewy bread make the best on the go sandwiches. I wanted to try and incorporate coconut flour to lower the gluten. Since coconut flour is know for absorbing liquid and being slightly dry I still left all purpose flour in the recipe.
These bagels are so chewy with a great sugar crust. Cinnamon and nutmeg warm up the fresh flavor of the organic blueberries. These bagels are not overly sweet so they also pair perfectly with savory sandwiches. I think they would be insanely good with bacon and eggs. Especially some delicious thick cut maple bacon.
Blueberry Bagels (with coconut flour and organic blueberries)
Recipe type: Bagels, Bread
Sweet chewy bagels filled with fresh blueberries.
1 cup of warm water
1 packet of fast active yeast
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of coconut flour (or another 1½ cups of AP flour)
1 cup of fresh organic blueberries
½ cup melted butter
6 cups of water for boiling
½ cup of cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling.
In a large mixing bowl mix yeast, water, and sugar.
Add in butter and egg.
Add in the blueberries, AP flour and coconut flour.
With a large wooden spoon mix lightly.
Add in the nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.
Lightly knead into a ball and cover.
Let rise for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Boil the water in a large pot.
Roll the dough into 6 equal balls for large bagels.
for mini bagels.
Use your finger or the back of the wooden spoon to poke a hole through each ball.
Boil on each side for 30 seconds.
Scoop out with a slotted spoon and place on large baking sheet.
Sprinkled the cinnamon sugar mixture liberally over each bagel.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
If you do not want to use coconut flour these bagels still come out great with only all purpose flour. I definitely recommend toasting these and loading them up with your favorite ingredients! Do not be intimidated by these. Once you get the hang of bagels they are so easy to make. If you have a bread maker they are even easier. Just remember the longer you boil the dough the chewier and more dense they will become.
AH, and so the love affair with my bread maker continues. I am currently working on a few grilled cheese creations for a contest now going on. The first ingredient in a perfect grilled cheese is a nice piece of crusty bread for “grilling”. I was scrolling through recipes online trying to find the ultimate grilled cheese bread.
I found myself on the King Arthur website (my favorite place for baking inspiration) and I saw the classic white bread recipe. I tweaked it a little bit to fit my needs and because I just can’t ever leave something the way it is.
The most important part of this recipe is the rising. Letting this bread rise in the refrigerator is what is going to give you the beautiful brown crust.