One of the things living in Africa is that, even with a new hypermarket in town, and access to Webgrocer, there are things you can’t find or can’t ship. So, you try to make them yourselves.
My first challenge – bagels.
I started here:
But, the first batch I made, although they tasted fine, never really rose, never really browned, and were strangely wrinkled after boiling. My second attempt was this morning. This time I pre-activated the yeast, gave the dough more time to raise both initially, and after forming the bagels. I used a smaller pot of water so I could get a better rolling boil on the water. I increased the oven temperature to 450. Finally, I baked them 15 minutes on a side instead of 10. This batch came out much better, although a little over-browned. I think I’ll cut back to 12 minutes a side next time. Toppings were caraway seeds, onions (dried onion flakes browned up nicely in the oven), salt (I found kosher salt, but not not course ground — too bad) and finally Old Bay seasoning (which I’d never had on a bagel). I had one for breakfast, and sandwich on one for lunch, and froze the rest for later in the week.
The second attempt of the day was pizza. I used this recipe:
for the dough, although I let my bread machine on dough cycle do the hard work. I don’t have a pizza stone, so I greased and floured a metal pizza pan, stretched it to fit (more or less) and left it to rise in place 20 minutes. Next time, I may give it 30. I oiled and spiced the crust (oregano mostly), added sauce (Prego from consumables) and cheese (local) and some more oregano. No toppings this time, since I wanted to see what a plain cheese pizza would do. Preheated the oven to 500 degrees (probably closer to 450, my oven runs a little cool) and cooked it for 10 minutes. The crust didn’t look done so I gave it another 5 which burned the cheese a bit. Still, the crust turned out well for a thin crust pizza. maybe next time I’ll give it a short pre-bake without sauce and cheese, then finish up with all the toppings on.
I have enough dough left over for another pizza, or I may try to make a calzone.
Next on my list – half-sour pickles, but I need to accumulate some jars and find a source of small pickling cucumbers.