22 April 2013

GUEST BLOG: Soda so good

By guest blogger KIM IRWIN

After a two-week break for Easter festivities we were back at the DEP premises with our second group making soda bread and bagels. With no time for hanging about, the group split into pairs and cracked on with the soda bread dough, measuring out warmed milk which was 'split' (curdled) by adding a lemon. Bicarbonate of soda was added to provide the rising agent and the dough was covered and left to rest.

We moved onto homemade bagels, which was a new experience for everyone, and again the dough was quickly pulled together - our team of budding bakers have certainly mastered the breadmaking art! With our two doughs resting, we enjoyed a short tea break then got back to work, shaping our soda dough (no need for kneading this one) and slicing the top with a cross shape to ensure it baked evenly… it looked very professional! Once the soda breads were in the oven, we heated water in pans for the first stage of bagel making. Shaping the bagels into doughnut rings was fun, then we carefully placed them in the simmering water for three minutes until they puffed up. Next, they were quickly placed on a baking sheet, given an egg wash and sprinkled with poppy seeds. One adventurous baker sprinkled her bagels with brown sugar, and, mmmm, they were really good when baked!

We enjoyed sampling the soda bread with butter and caramelised onion hummus - it was quite delightful - and waited in anticipation for the bagels to finish baking. After cleaning up and discussing the recipes, the freshly baked bagels were packaged up to be taken home and shared with loved ones. Another mouthwatering session was at an end and everyone left in agreement that it was a very pleasant way to spend a Friday morning.

See the Cracking Good Food Facebook page for more tasty samples.

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