Bagels. ‘Nuff said.

I love bagels. They’re so versatile–they can be a meal in and of themselves, or they can serve as the backdrop to almost anything–eggs, cream cheese, garden veggies and cheese. Bagels, in short, are the bombdiggity.

Several weeks ago I decided to try my hand at making my own. I felt empowered. And hipster-like. And very, very full, because I ate nothing but bagels for the next 3 meals and 2 snacks. They were that good.

Surprisingly enough, bagel-making is one of the easiest things in the world. Even my roommate, whose idea of a homecooked meal is a frozen pizza, was impressed by how easy it was. And the payoff of steaming hot fresh bagels is entirely worth the little time and effort it takes.

Let me show you:

PSA: I am a lousy photographer with a lousy camera. The pictures below will seriously offend any artistic sense you possess. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I used this recipe.

You mix up the dough, divide it into 8 cute little balls, and let them rise.

See? So far, so easy. Then (and here’s where it gets good), you roll each ball into a rope. . .

(My apologies regarding the blurriness: there was some crazy action up in thurr)

Then you flip the snake around your hand and roll the seams/loose ends together, like so:

Please don’t ask how much of my flaking nail polish ended up in that dough.

Repeat until you have 8 gorgeous little bagels! Then they rest and you clean the kitchen. Demanding little buggers, those bagels.

Then you and your roommate gather around the bagels like paparazzi around Lady Gaga.

After they have gotten all puffy, throw them in a pot of boiling water with some baking soda added and boil for 1 minute on each side.

Mm. . .warm, wet bread. Even I gag at the thought. But don’t let that deter you. We aren’t done yet!

Rescue the little guys, shake ’em off a bit, and coat them in whatever yummy toppings you want: below we have black and white sesame seeds, caraway seeds, and dried cranberries, as well as some plain ones. In retrospect, I really should have kneaded the cranberries into the dough before shaping it, because the cranberries all fell off while baking, leaving a poor little naked, cranberry-stained bagel behind. It was a little awkward.

Then bake for 10 minutes each side. Seriously, could this be any easier?

And you end up with this:

Oh. My. Word. SO good.

I highly recommend that you utilize this recipe often, particularly during times of stress. Kneading the dough is an awesome way to work out some stress, and eating bagels is an awesome way to. . .um. . .well, cope with your stress. Just don’t tell my future clients I said that.

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