Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lemon bars

I really love lemon desserts. They are so fresh, summery, and full of flavor. When I need piece of summer, of sunshine, I make lemon desserts. I made these few weeks ago, before tulips and daffodils started to bloom, when there were no signs of spring. This year summer is long overdue in Chicago. Winter was brutally cold, long.  On top of everything, everyone I know is sick. My dear workout buddy is not feeling well either, and she could not eat. She lost few pounds in a week, and I was joking with her that I now need to fatten her up :)
We have many things in common, and sometimes we say that we were related in a previous life. Lemon desserts are one of the loves we share. So I made her lemon bars. She loves them, they will cheer her up, and with all lemon juice and vitamin C, we could consider them healthy ;) At least for a day :)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powder sugar
2 sticks butter (226 gr.)
1 tablespoon vodka or water, but with vodka, dough will not develop gluten
Cut cold butter in small peaces. Combine it with flour and sugar, and process it in food processor. Add 1 tablespoon of vodka or water to it. Press it lightly onto the bottom of baking pan. Bake at 350/180C for 20 min. 

For the filling:
1 can condensed milk (396 gr.)
4 eggs,
2/3 cups lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Beat together condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and zest of one lemon. Sift tablespoon of flour and add it to the mixture. Pour over crust, and bake for 20-25 more minutes, until filling is set, and crust is golden brown. Cool in the pan and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut into squares and sprinkle with powder sugar.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tres leches cake

Under this whipped cream cloud with strawberries is a Mexican and South Americas favorite, tres leches cake. Basically, this is a really nice butter cake, but the magic happens after you take it out of the oven. After cake is cooled, its soaked with three kinds of milk. Evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk. I added rum and vanilla to give it some kick. And this cake drinks it up like a sponge. That's why its so juicy, creamy, rich and flavorful. And it so easy to make. If you are used to complicated layered cakes, this is a breeze.

For the cake:
180 gr butter
100 gr sugar
5 eggs
200 gr flour
12 gr. baking powder
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
Place the butter and sugar in a bowl, and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour that you sifted with baking powder and pinch of salt. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 20cm pan lined with baking paper. Bake for 40 min. Take it out of the oven, and flip the pan on the cooling rack. When completely cooled, make holes using a skewer or toothpick.

Mix 250 ml of whole milk, 250 ml evaporated milk, 1 can of condensed milk (397 gr), one tablespoon of rum, and one teaspoon of vanilla. Pour the milk mixture over the cake and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
Transfer it into the serving plate, decorate with whipped cream and strawberries.
Serve cold.

Friday, April 25, 2014

French crullers

When I tried french crullers for the first time, they became my favorite doughnuts. For some reason, I thought it will be hard to make them, so I avoided them  for years. I was also trying to avoid buying them, because I always worry about fried food and that black oil they use endlessly.
So, recently, I saw the recipe that looked so much easier than I thought, and I decided to give them a try. They were great, and much faster than regular yeast doughnuts. There is no need to wait for the dough to rise. Just make pate a choux, and fry. They are lighter than air, with crannies to hold sweet glaze.

For the pate de choux:
250 ml water
85 gr butter
150 gr. flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Bring water, and butter to boil. Add flour, salt, and keep stirring until flour is completely incorporated. When thin film starts to coat the bottom of the pan, dough is ready. Let the dough cool down for a few minutes. Transfer it to food processor, and start adding eggs one by one. Dough should be glossy and smooth, and it should hold shape. Transfer it to the fridge, until you prepare the rest.

Cut out 12   8x8 cm squares of parchment paper. Grease squares on one side, and pipe the ring of dough with star tip. Warm up the oil in heavy bottom pan. Place a cruller paper side up into the hot oil. Use tongs to peel the parchment of the cruller.  Recommended temperature for oil in the recipe was  370F/ 187C. For me, that temperature did not work. My doughnuts popped like popcorn, and completely lost their shape. I lowered the temperature to 310-320F, and they came out beautiful. Try it with one cruller, see what works best for you. When cruller turns golden, flip it, and let it fry on the other side. Transfer them to paper towels or cooling rack.

While crullers cool, make the glaze.
Mix 150 gr powder sugar, with 3 tablespoons of milk, tablespoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Dip the top of each cruller into the glaze, and let the drippings run of.
Glaze will set very quickly, and crullers will be ready for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chocolate caramel banana mousse cake

This was one of my sons birthday cakes. He loves bananas, and he especially loves them in desserts. One of his favorite is Banoffee pie. And although I am not a big fan of bananas, I cant argue on this one. I eat it too, and I love it. Its so hard to resist the gooey caramel, bananas, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.
So, I decided to make him a cake that will have similar ingredients, but that will be more elegant and sophisticated. And I was so happy with the result. Its two layers of chocolate sponge cake with pecans, that I soaked with rum syrup, chocolate mousse, dulce de leche mousse, and banana slices.

For sponge cake:
6 egg yolks
125 gr sugar
3 egg whites
50 gr flour
25 gr cocoa powder
50 gr pecans + 50 gr sugar (grinned together in food processor until fine powder)
50 gr hot melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Combine the egg yolks with half of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Using clean bowl whip the egg whites with other half of sugar until stiff peeks. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together over egg yolk mixture. Scoop about one third of the meringue on top and quickly and thoroughly mix it with a rubber spatula. Add remaining meringue and gently fold it into the batter. When almost completely incorporated, add pecan and sugar powder, and fold until completely mixed. Slowly pour the melted butter over the batter and fold it in. Bake in two 9 inch / 23 cm pans lined with parchment paper for 20-25 min until spongy.

Brushing syrup:
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons rum

6 bananas

Chocolate mousse:
350 gr heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
100 gr chocolate
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
First bloom gelatin in cold water. When its ready melt it in a microwave or in the hot water bath.
To make the mousse, bring 100 ml of  cream to a boil. Add chocolate and stir as it melts. Add melted gelatin.
Whisk the egg yolks with sugar until frothy and fold into the chocolate mixture. Cool to 95F/35C.
Whip the remaining cream until stiff and fold in the chocolate mixture.

Dulce de leche mousse:
350 ml heavy cream
1 egg
150 gr dulce de leche
1 teaspoon gelatin
2 tablespoons water
Bloom gelatin in water, and dissolve in microwave or in hot water bath.
Heat  150 ml of cream with the lightly beaten egg for 10 min to 158F/70C. Mix constantly. Add dissolved gelatin, dulche de leche and mix until incorporated. Whip the remaining cream until stiff, and fold in the chocolate mixture.

To assemble the cake, brush chocolate sponge layer with brushing syrup. Put it in the spring form cake pan. Layer it with sliced bananas ( I needed 3 smaller bananas per layer, and mixed them with few drops of lemon juice to prevent them from discoloring ). Pour the chocolate mousse over bananas, and put it in the freezer until you make dulce de leche mousse.
Soak second sponge layer with brushing syrup. Put it on the top of the chocolate mousse. Layer it with sliced bananas, and pour dulce de leche mousse on top. Put it in the fridge overnight to set.
I decorated it with chocolate colar and with whipped chocolate cream.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Nicoise salad

I really love salads. And this one is not just a salad, its a filling meal. It originated in Provence, and it became very popular all over the world. When I make it, I make a lot, its a full bowl that can easily serve 6 people. I eat it guilt free, knowing that every bite of it is healthy. Its light, refreshing, delicious and filling meal. The best thing would be to make it in summer, when veggies are fresh and abundant, but I make it during winter also, when I find ripe and sweet tomatoes. If you are in hurry, caned tuna is perfect, but buy good quality Italian tuna. Fresh tuna will do also, and that is what I do most of the time. You will need measurements only for the first time, afterwards, you can make it the way you like it best. This one is the best adjusted to your own taste.

3 cans olive oil packed tuna drained (180 gr. each)
400 gr red potatoes
2 carrots 
1 red bell pepper
1 small red onion
1/2 cup Nicoise olives
2 tablespoons capers
300 gr cherry tomatoes
450 gr green beans 
3 hard boiled eggs
2 tablespoons basil

Cook potatoes until tender, but dont overcook, they will fall apart. Drain potatoes and let cool. Cut julienne and place in a large bowl. 
Boil green beans for 5 min, until tender but slightly crisp. Drain the beans, then plunge them in ice water to stop cooking. Drain well and place in the bowl with potatoes.
Boil carrots shortly, and cut julienne. Cut bell peeper, red onion, tomatoes and add all vegetables to the bowl with the beans and potatoes. Add chunks of tuna and make the dressing.

80 ml lemon juice
120 ml olive oil
salt and pper
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic 

Whisk together all of the ingredients, until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine, but be careful not to mash the potatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and garnish the salad with egg quarters and basil leaves. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Parmesan dinner rolls

I wish you could smell these while they were baking. They smelled like pizza, and I could not wait to get them out of the oven. I had a dinner to go with it, but we did not even get to it. We had so many of these, that my dinner went to the fridge. They are so soft and fluffy, you can eat them on their own. But, they are also great for sandwiches, and my son says they are perfect with prosciutto:)
The good thing is, you can freeze them, and take them out of the freezer when you need them. Just warm them up for 10 min in 350/180C oven, and you will have fresh, warm dinner rolls whenever you need them.

For 12 rolls you will need:

320 gr flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
160 ml. warm milk
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup parmesan
70 gr butter
1 teaspoon salt

Stir together warm milk, yeast, sugar, and 2-3 teaspoons of flour. Let it stand for 5 min until foamy.
Whisk together flour, parmesan, salt, yeast mixture, and eggs. Beat for about 3 min. Beat in the butter, 1 tablespoons at the time, until dough is elastic, about 2 min. Dough will be soft, but it should not be sticky. If its sticky add tablespoon by tablespoon of flour at the time. Cover with plastic, and let the dough rise until doubled. Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 12 pieces, and roll each into a ball. Arrange rolls 2 cm apart in a buttered round cake pan and cover kitchen towel. Let it rise until it fills pan.
Brush with 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water.
Bake in 375F/190C for 20-25 min.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chocolate berry jello cake

For my sons birthday party, we had few cakes, and this one was one of them. Kids loved it. It looks very festive and elegant, and it tastes great too. Chocolate base is creamy, like milder version of brownie, so its not overpowering, and top is made with cherry jello, fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
A burst of flavor in every bite.

For the cake:
2 eggs
150 gr flour
50 gr cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
175 gr brown sugar
100 gr butter
50 gr chocolate
1 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda.
Melt butter and chocolate, and cool for a few minutes.
Mix eggs with sugar until thick. Add yogurt, melted butter with chocolate, vanilla and rum. Mix until incorporated. Add sifted dry ingredients. Whisk to combine. Line 24 cm baking pan with parchment paper, pour cake mixture and bake at 325F/165C for about 20 min. Test with toothpick, it should come out clean.

For fruit jelly:
2 pack cherry jello
700 ml water (to dissolve jello)
150 gr strawberries
150 gr blueberries
150 gr. raspberries
To dissolve jello, follow the instructions on a package, but use 700 ml of water. Add fruit when jello cools down, and do not pour it on the cake until it starts to solidify. If jello is to thin, it will soak into the batter.
Cool in the fridge for few hours. Pop the cake ring open, and carefully remove it from the cake.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Ferrero crepe cake

Every year for my sons birthday, I would make Nutella crepes for breakfast. Yesterday was his 18th birthday, and he is entering the world of adults. As every mom, I am very emotional, and I could tell you story after story about him as a baby, toddler, and a teenager. I could tell you that he was cutest and most precious baby. But every mom would say that. So, I will not talk much, I will take you straight to the recipe.
This one was made just for him, with Ferrero like cream, and chocolate crepes. Its very rich and flavorful. Mascarpone cheese, Nutella, and roasted hazelnuts. Dig in :)

Chocolate crepes - Pierre Herme's recipe
190 gr. flour
7 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
4 eggs room temperature
500 ml milk
6 tablespoons beer
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Sift the flour and cocao powder together. Whisk in the sugar. In another bowl, whisk eggs and milk together just to blend. Whisk in the beer, and melted butter.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with your dry ingredients and whisk to blend well. You will have a very tin bather. You can also make it in a blender of food processor. Do not overmix. Refrigerate overnight.
Rub a seasoned or nonstick 19cm pan and put it over medium-high heat. As soon as pan is hot, pour in about 3 tablespoons of batter, and swirl the pan so batter spreads across it in an even, thin-as-possible-ever layer.
When the batter has set, run a knife or spatula around the edges, and flip it. Cook until other side is lightly browned.
I made double doze of batter, so I had about 24 crepes.

For the filling:
(recipe inspired by Una's Ferrero cake)

350 gr nutella
450 gr mascarpone cheese
150 gr. roasted peeled hazelnuts
1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur (optional)

First roast and peel your hazelnuts. Heat the oven to 350F/180C.
Put your hazelnuts in one layer on the baking pan, and roast them for about 10 min, until they are blistery. Take them out, transfer them to the kitchen towel ( chose old or dark, because it will stain your kitchen towel). Close the towel up into a bundle, and rub energetically until their skin comes off in flakes. Processes them in food processor.
Mix room temperature mascarpone cheese with nutella. You don't need mixer, just do it with spatula. Add processed  hazelnuts and hazelnut liqueur (if you don't have it, plain old vanilla is fine)

Put one tablespoon of filling on each crepe, and spread evenly. Layer the cake until you use up all of the ingredients. Decorate with grated chocolate, and chocolate whipped cream.

For the chocolate cream you will need:
250 ml heavy cream
50 gr chocolate
1 tablespoon sugar
Heat the cream and sugar until boil. Pour it over the chocolate, let it melt for a few minutes, and mix energetically, so the chocolate is completely blended into the cream.
Chill the chocolate cream for few hours. Whip the cream with a whisk until it is almost firm. Be careful not to over-whip. Decorate the cake and sprinkle with chocolate curls.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pierre Herme's croissants

Za recept na srpskom, odite na dno stranice :)

If someone tells you that you can make fast version of croissants, that you can mix from scratch and bake  in an hour, do not waste your time. They will look like play-dough crescents.
Croissants are a buttery perfection that require patience and time, but resting time in the fridge, not hard work. Active preparation time is not more than hour and a half. But, I was making mine for 5 days. And here's why.
First day, I prepared the dough. I let it rise, punched it, and put it in the fridge. The next day, I prepared the butter, and laminated it for the first time. I put it in the fridge, and the next day, rolled it for the second time. It takes you 10 min to roll and fold it. Then back to the fridge. I let the dough rest in the fridge until Friday night, and Friday night I shaped them. Back to the fridge again. Saturday morning I let them rise, and baked them.
You can make them in a day, but you really do not need to rush. The dough can't be rushed, it won't like it, and you are not going to like it ether. When you rest it between folding, it has time to relax its gluten, and it will be easier for you to roll. For me, making them is a big pleasure that its very rewarding. Is there anything better on a cold Sunday morning than fresh croissants out of the oven and cup of coffee or hot chocolate?
I made them many, many times, using different recipes. But as you may know, I received Pierre Hermes cookbook for my birthday, and his croissant recipe was something I had to try. I adore good croissants, and his looked like pure perfection. So I decided to give them a try. I made a double dose. I always do that when I make danishes, puff pastry, or croissants. I bake half, and I freeze other half.

12 gr compressed fresh yeast
100 ml whole milk warmed to 68F/20C
500 gr flour
12 gr salt
75 gr fine sugar
35 gr very soft unsalted butter
15 gr dry whole milk powder
145 ml still mineral water warmed to 68F/20C (I used regular tap water)
325 gr cold unsalted butter (do not use margarine)
1 egg yolk
2 whole eggs
pinch of fine salt

Prepare the croissants. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Sift the flour, then incorporate the salt, sugar, butter, milk powder, two-thirds of water, and the yeast dissolved in milk. Knead the mixture briefly. Add more of the remaining water if the dough appears too firm (I used all of the water). Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and keep it at 72F/20C for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume. (It took me 3 hours for the dough to double at that temperature).
Punch down the dough to its original volume and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. (I refrigerated it until the next day). Punch it down again, wrap in plastic, and place it in the freezer for 30 min.

Remove the dough from the freezer. Pound half the cold butter with a rolling pin to soften, then kneed the butter by hand to form rectangle. (I put my butter in the zip lock bag, rolled it until thin, cooled it in the fridge. Before placing it on the dough I just cut the bag to take it out).

Sprinkle a work surface with flour and roll out a long rectangle of the dough. It should be three times longer than it is wide. Mine was abotu 17cm wide, and 52-53cm long. Place the butter against the lower edge of the dough. With the palm of your hand, pull the butter over the dough until it covers two-thirds of it. ( I just placed two pieces of butter that I took out of my zip lock bag).

Wrap the remaining third of the dough over the two-thirds of it. Fold the lowest third of the buttered part over the other third. Place the dough in the freezer for 30 min, then refrigerate for 1 hour. ( Mine was in the fridge until the next day).

Roll out the dough into a long rectangle as before, and proceed in the same way with the other half of the butter. Place the dough in the freezer again for 30 min, than refrigerate for 1 hour. (I left mine in the fridge until the next day again, and I did 3 folds total).

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle a work surface with all purpose flour and roll out the dough to a thickens of 3 mm. Using a sharp knife, cut out isosceles triangles 20 cm high and with a base measuring 12 cm. (My width was 12cm, but they were longer). Place each triangle on the work surface with the base toward you. Roll it up on itself, then curve the ends into a crescent, shape. ( I cut the middle of each triangle, and I left mine straight, french style).

As you finish shaping the croissants, place them on the lined baking sheets spacing them 5 cm apart. Set them aside at room temperature to proof for about 1 1/2 hours. ( I shaped mine Friday night, wrapped the pan really well, and put them in the fridge overnight. I took them out in the morning, and let them rise for 3 hours. They should be jiggly when you shake the pan, if they are ready. The temperature in the room should  be around 25 C )
Preheat a convection oven to 400F/200C.
Prepare the glaze. Whisk together the egg yolk, whole eggs, and salt in a bowl ( I just used 1/2 of the egg white, 1 egg yolk, and teaspoon of water, but i glazed them twice).
Using a pastry brush, coat the croissants with the glaze. Place the croissants in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 350F/180C. Bake for 20 min. (I baked mine 25, but that really depends on your oven).

Remove from the oven and transfer the croissants to wire rack to cool. You will have perfect croissants.
We enjoyed ours with jams, and Pierre Hermes hot chocolate.

Za testo vam je potrebno:

12 gr svezeg kvasca
100 ml  punomasnog mleka ugrejanog na 20C
500 gr brasna
12 gr soli
75 gr secera
35 gr omeksalog neslanog putera
15 gr punomasnog mleka u prahu
145 gr negazirane mineralne vode ugrejane na 20C (ili obicne)
325 gr. neslanog putera (nikako margarina)

Za glazuru:
1 zumance
2 cela jaja
prstohvat soli

Napisacu vam recept iz knjige, i u zagradi cu dodati promene koje sam ja radila. Vi pratite ono sto vama najvise odgovara.
Ugrejte mleko na 20C i rastopite kvasac u njemu.
Prosejte brasno, dodajte so, secer, mleko u prahu, vodu, rastopljeni kvasac i omeksali puter. Kratko mesite testo dok se ne sjedini (ne treba dugo mesiti). Dobicete tvrdje testo.
Prebacite testo u posudu u kojoj ce narastati, pokrijte prozirnom folijom i ostavite na 20C dok se ne udvostruci. U knjizi kazu 1 - 1 1/2 sati, meni je uzelo duplo vise vremena.

Pritisnite testo rukama da ispusti vazduh i prebacite ga u frizider na sat vremena. (meni je odlezalo u frizideru do sutradan)
Izvadite testo iz frizidera, ponovo ga pritisnite da ispusti vazduh i prebacite u zamrzivac na 30 minuta. Za to vreme pripremite puter. Puter treba istanjiti na sirinu trake na koju cete tanjiti testo. Testo treba da bude tri puta duze, nego sto je siroko. Ja sam puter stavila u 4 zip kesice i istanjila. Dve su bile za prvo preklapanje, dve za drugo.

Testo izvadite iz zamrzivaca, istanjite u dugacku traku (debljina testa bi trebala biti 3-4 mm, duzina mi je bila oko 52-53 cm, sirina 17-18cm). Po testu rasporedite ocvrsli puter (vidi sliku gore). Puterom trebate pokriti 2/3 testa, 1/3 ostaje nenamazana. Tu jednu nenamazanu trecinu preklopite preko namazanog dela. Znaci, ako je puter na levoj strani, nenamazan deo testa na desnoj, preklopite sa desna na levo. Nakon toga, preklopite sa leva na desno, tako da vam strana sa puterom dodje preko gornjeg dela testa koje je nenamazano. Uvijte testo u prozirnu foliju i stavite u zamrzivac na 30 min, pa nakon 60 min u frizider. (Moje testo je odmaralo do sutradan).

Testo opet istanjite u dugacku traku, i po njemu rasporedite drugi deo putera, na isti nacin kao prvi put i preklopite na isti nacin. Ovog puta testo ce biti glatkije. Opet ga uvijte u prozirnu foliju, i stavite u zamrzivac na 30 min, pa u frizider na sat vremena. (Moje testo je odmaralo do sutradan, i tanjila sam ga i preklapala jos jednom pre nego sto sam oblikovala krosane).

Izvadite testo iz frizidera, i opet istanjite dugu pravougaonu traku na 3 mm debljine. Ostrim nozem secite trouglove koji su 12 cm siroki i 20 cm visoki. Zasecite sredinu svakog trougla (vidi sliku gore). Uvijte kao kiflicu. Poredjajte na pleh, ostavljajuci dovoljno razmaka da mogu nesmetano da narastu, oko 2 sata. Premazite lagano glazurom.
Rernu ugrejte na 200C. Cim stavite kroasane, smanjite tempreraturu na 180C.
Pecite oko 20 min. Korasani trebaju biti res peceni.

Vazne napomene
* Kroasane nikako ne pravite sa margarinom.
* Testo obavezno odmarajte da bi se opustio gluten i da bi se ujednacila temperatura testa i putera.
* Prostorija u kojoj radite kroasane mora biti hladna. U toploj prostoriji ce se puter topiti, curiti i necete          dobiti slojeve.
* Puter i testo moraju biti iste temperautre. Mekano testo i hladan puter se ne mogu ravnomerno valjati,             puter ce pucati i kroasani se nece dobro listati.
* Premekan puter ce se upiti u testo, i kroasani ce biti masni i teski.
* Ako kroasani narastaju na previsokoj temeraturi, puter ce iscuriti iz njih pre pecenja.
* Kada zatresete pleh, kroasani trebaju da "zaigraju" kao zelatinozna smesa. To znaci da su dovoljno narasli    i da su spremni za pecenja.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


For me, bagels are something that I would eat in a hurry, when there is not time to make anything else for breakfast. We like onion, cheese and sesame ones. And you could tell I went crazy with sesame here :)
A nicely toasted and crunchy bagel is a good vehicle for cream cheese. With the cream cheese I could be creative, because you can literary put anything you like in there. Herbs, jalapeno peppers, vegetables, salmon...I would even put dips. Guacamole with cream cheese, egg salad with celery, and my latest favorite, radish salad with olives and cheese. You can check out the recipe for it in Serbian at my friends blog. So, if I could make all these good toppings, why couldn't I make good bagels also?
I decided to try. It is much easier and less time consuming than I thought.

For the dough you will need:
500 gr. flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
350 ml water

You can make your bagels in food processor, mixer, or by hand.
Start the yeast by mixing warm water, sugar, yeast, and 2-3 tablespoons of flour. When it foams, mix it with dry ingredients, and kneed or mix until dough becomes satiny and elastic. Transfer to lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it double.
Before you divide and shape your dough, prepare our water bath. You should have pot big enough to boil few bagels at the time (I did 5), and at least 4 inches (10cm) of water. Some recipes call for malt syrup that I could not find in grocery store, some are using sugar, I used 2 tablespoons of molasses. Let the water come to a boil, and preheat the oven to 400F/200C.

Divide the dough in 10 peaces. Ball each peace, than roll it into the rope. Wrap the dough around the back of your hand, overlapping the ends in your palm. Place your hand palm down on the work surface and roll dough back and forth until ends seal together. At this point, you can place your bagels in the fridge overnight which helps them develop better flavor, or you can boil and bake them in 10 min.

Gently lower each bagel into simmering poaching water with molasses. They should float to the surface within 15 seconds. Turn each bagel after 20 seconds, poach for another 20 seconds, and with slotted spoon transfer it back to the wire rack.  Lightly oil parchment paper, brush each bagel with beaten egg mixture (I forgot, so my seeds were falling of), dip them into the bowl with sesame (or just sprinkle),  and bake them for about 15-20 min until there are golden. They freeze very well if you wrap them while they are still warm.