Friday, July 6, 2012

Forced Vacation, Day 2

So, in my mind, a 'floating holiday' is one that is used at the discretion of the employee, not mandated by management.  However, apparently that definition is not shared by all.  So, in their infinite wisdom, our management decided that since the Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday this year, our two 'floating holidays' would be the next two days - Thursday and Friday.  So, I am  being paid to stay home these two days.  I'm not complaining, only that it feels like wasted time to me since it's not in combination with any vacation or trip or anything.  

But, I am getting lots of things done in these two days.  And, it is making me REALLY long for retirement, when every day will be a 'floating holiday'!  Or more accurately, as one friend who is retired told us, 'every day is Saturday'! 

Yesterday, I tried a recipe for plain bagels that I got in an free Kindle book.  The site for free books is Pixel of Ink, and they release free downloads about three times a day.  Some aren't all that great, but others are.  I've found that if I check the reviews before I hit the 'buy this' button, I can weed out those that are poorly written or those full of grammatical errors.  Which brings me to a pet peeve of mine - how can people get these books published when they are chocked full of spelling and grammatical errors??? Does no one proof read anymore?  

Anyway, here's the recipe, compliments of J Tozer and her ebook, Bake the Best Bagels.  I've condensed the directions a bit, but not at the expense of a good bagel.

Plain Bagels
4 cups flour (all purpose or a combination of all purpose and whole wheat)
1-2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c warm water
1 T sugar
1 T oil
2 tsp. yeast

Mix flour and salt together in mixing bowl.  In another container, mix water, sugar, oil and yeast together and let sit for 5-10 minutes, until foamy.  Pour liquid mixture into flour and salt and knead for 5-10 minutes.  I used my dough hook, but you can obviously knead it by hand.  Form into 8 or 9 balls and poke a hole into each, shaping into a bagel.  Place bagels onto lightly floured board and cover.  Let raise for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, place a large pot with 3" of water in it on to boil, preheat oven to 425° and grease a baking sheet.  

When the 30 minutes is up and water is boiling, place 3-4 bagels into boiling water.  Cook on one side for one minute and then turn and cook on the other side for another minute.  Remove with slotted spoon and place on greased sheet.  Repeat until all bagels have been boiled.  At this point, if you want to sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, or onion, sea salt or pepper, go ahead. Place sheet into oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Turn bagels over and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Bagels should be lightly golden brown.

Cool on rack.  Eat warm or freeze for later toasting.

Optional dough add ins:  Add up to 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds, or poppy seeds, chopped chilies, chopped fruit, sauteed onion,garlic, cinnamon, raisins, pesto, etc. to the dough after it is well mixed.  

These didn't take long to make and they were delicious!  And much more economical than trudging off to the local bread restaurant to buy a bunch!

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