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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Blends by Orly.......Bagels, bagels, bagels comin your way!!!

About a month ago Orly from Blends by Orly, sent me her Manhattan flour blend to try so I could make some bagels. I haven't had a decent bagel since I went GF and I was really craving one like crazy! I have tried the ones you find in the freezer section of most stores, you all know the ones I am talking about, right? Some passed the "OK' test while others were just I don't know what set off the craving but I was desperate to have one that reminded me of days long gone bye. Orly's Manhattan blend didn't disappoint!

The Manhattan Blend comes with a Brioche Roll recipe printed on the bag, but I found  her bagel recipe using this blend on her home site at and set off to work. Measuring out all the ingredients, I turned on the oven, got my large pan of water set on the stove for the boiling process, and set off to mixing.

Now I must say I was pretty skeptical when it was time to roll the dough into "log" shaped tubes as the first ball really stuck to my hands, so I washed them and started over. I found that by really dusting the board with extra flour from the blend, and dusting the tops generously with more of the flour blend, they rolled out very easily.

I then shaped the dough into bagel circles and let them set covered on my cookie sheet the full 45 minutes to rise. Although they didn't seem like they were where  they were suppose to be at this point I was really getting anxious to have a bagel, so I started the boiling water bath for each one. It seems they plumped up a little more in the bath so I didn't feel quite so apprehensive. I seem to get a little impatient waiting for things to happen, but with only 1/2 teaspoon of yeast in the mix you really shouldn't expect a huge rise. Also, this was my first time ever making bagels so I was not sure what to really expect.

After popping them into the oven I set the timer and waited. As I mentioned before, waiting is not one of my best virtues.....however I did wait, although I was very anxiously, hovering every 10 minutes over the stove. Finally!!! The timer went off and I retrieved what looked to be golden brown works of art! OK, so the circles weren't uniformly perfect but who really cares if they tasted as good as they looked....Oh my gosh.....These were so warm, with just the texture I remember bagels to be. I have to admit that just like the Lays potato chip commercial advertises....You can't just stop at one! The recipe makes 4 large bagels or 8 smaller ones. I had opted for the smaller ones so in all reality I only ate one.....Hey I'm trying to justify here!!!!

For those of you with allergies please know that this flour blend is gluten free, nut free, dairy free, corn free, and soy free. The flour can also be used to make soft pretzels, whole grain and rye bread, Danish pastry, challah and doughnuts, plus other items. I'd say that's pretty versatile.

I have to say that these were the most moist, delicious, and the best gluten free bagel I have tasted to date. Orly has a variety of other blends that I hope to try in the future. I must say that her knowledge of pastry baking really hit the mark on this flour combination. If you are looking for a great tasting bagel fresh from the oven then look no further. Stop over at her home page and order a bag of her Manhattan Blend today. Also check out her blog for more recipes for this blend and others that she offers. This Manhattan Blend and recipe gets a 5 Star rating from this picky eater.

Here is the recipe that is on her blog:

Recipe Yields 4 large bagels or 8 small bagels

1 1/2 cups (250 grams) Manhattan Blend plus extra for rolling out the bagels
1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 T brown sugar
2 T white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp (125ml) luke warm water
1/2 tsp vegetable or canola oil
1/2 tsp white vinegar
Additional toppings including sesame seeds, poppyseeds, and salt

Heat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.   Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Mix: In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the yeast and lukewarm water.  Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. Add oil and vinegar.  In a separate bowl, mix together the brown and white sugars, salt, baking powder, and Blends by Orly Manhattan Blend.  Whisk dry ingredients together and pour them on top of the wet ingredients.  Mix all ingredients together on slow speed for 2 minutes.  Increase to medium-high speed for another 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and completely mixed through.  Your dough should be and sticky, but not wet like a batter.

Shape and Proof: Turn the dough out onto a surface floured with Manhattan Blend.  Divide the dough into 4 equally sized pieces, or 8 for smaller bagels. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Starting from the center and working outwards, carefully roll each piece into a rope about the width of your two hands.  Loop it around your hand to overlap the two ends and press them together. Use your three middle fingers to roll these two ends on your counter and seal them together to form a bagel. Repeat the process.  Transfer your bagel dough to the baking panUse a pastry brush or spray bottom to coat each bagel with a layer of water to prevent them from drying out while they rise.  Let the bagels rise in a warm area (ideally 90-100 degrees fahrenheit) for 35-45 minutes until they have almost doubled in size and are soft and fluffy to the touch.
Boil: Bring a large pot of water to the rolling boil and add 1 tsp of honey (optional for flavor and color).  With a slotted spoon or spatula, carefully place bagels into the pot and boil on each side for 30 seconds.  Do not crowd the pot. Remove from boiling water and place back on the tray.  Now would be the time to add seeds to your bagels.
Bake bagels for 35-40 minutes, or until the outside is golden in color and hard to the touch.