Recently I’ve had a couple of interviews where I’ve been asked about how I got started baking. It’s been fun to reflect on the journey I’ve been taking with food over my life and I thought I’d share a little with you! I grew up loving food, but it wasn’t until we moved to Japan that my love turned from just eating to creating. I love meat, carbs and sweets (my three food groups) and Japan isn’t big on baked goods. In fact almost no one even owns an oven!
So after a month or two without an oven I realized just how much I relied on one, and how much I missed it. That and the bread’s and sweets over there are very light and airy and I was missing my DENSE, filling breads. SO for my birthday we bought a microwave/oven (not a microwave oven, but a microwave that is also an oven, pretty cool, huh – just larger than a traditional microwave). ANYWAY I immediately started googling recipes and baking my little heart out. One of the very first things I made was my favorite lunch item, bagels! This very recipe to be exact!
- 1 1/2 C water
- 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 C bread flour
- 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 C mini chocolate chips frozen
- corn meal
- Place water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl and let bloom for 10 mins
- Add the oil, honey, salt, cocoa and flours and mix until the dough forms a ball
- Knead another 3 mins in your mixer (with a dough hook) or by hand.
- Place in a greased bowl (or back in your bosch) and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size
- punch down and mix in frozen mini chips (but work quickly so they don't melt)
- Divide into 16 3 oz balls
- Poke a hole in the center and spread it wide
- place on a baking sheet that you've sprinkled with corn meal
- Let the bagels rise for another 30 mins
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 mins (if your baking both tray's at once rotate them about 12 mins in)
A ton of my recipes are actually from my Japan days, as I mixed and matched recipes I found and started recreating food I craved and missed. A lot are already here – spinach dip, alfredo sauce. But some I haven’t made in years, but now I’m re inspired, and you’ll probably see a lot of basic baking as I reminisce a bit! Garlic and cheddar bagels, homemade tortillas, Classic white bread, homemade egg nog, etc…Ashlee Marie by Email