Thursday, May 7, 2020

Fakels (Fake Bagels)

Out of yeast? These "fakels" (get it? Fake bagels? Nevermind) are made with a handful of ingredients and can be cutomized for your liking - these used up some dregs of various flours (including durum semolina) and were filled with dried fruit and topped with whole flax seeds for texture. Fluffy inside but not as dense or chewy as a real bagel, they are perfect candidates for toasting with jam, peanut butter or cream cheese.

I don't usually jump onto "bandwagons" with my cooking and baking exploits. I prefer to go my own way, playing with what I have on hand and coming up with twists on classical recipes. However, when I found myself with an excess of yogurt (which I had bought planning cornbread, only to find out I was out of cornmeal) I whipped up a loaf of soda bread (swapping yogurt for buttermilk) and opted for these no-boil quickbread bagels to use up the rest. Having made legitimate bagels before (and recently) I know how much tedious work goes into them, and the prospect of getting the doughy, chewy bagel without that step was tempting! To gild the lily (cause I have to) I tossed in handfuls of dried fruit and topped each with flax seeds for crunch. How would they come out?

Well, I will say this - they are not bagels. The inner texture is more cake like than doughy, and the outsides aren't smooth and shiny. You also need a wicked sharp serrated knife to get a clean slice. However - once you do get a good slice and you pop them under the broiler to toast (not a toaster, you will thank me), they are still excellent schmear holders, butter still soaks in, and they still satisfy as a breakfast or a snack. Would I eat them plain? Untoasted? No - these are the English muffins of bagels and demand caramelization. But in the days of no yeast, these may just have to do for now.

Fakels (Fake Bagels)
Makes 4 small or 3 large
Adapted from SkinnyTaste
1 1/4 cups flour (not gonna lie, we buy giant bags here)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt (regular is fine, if using Greek add 2 tbsp extra)
1 oz golden raisins
1 oz dried blueberries
1 oz dried cranberries (I use the reduced sugar ones)
1 egg white
flax seeds, to top (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (convection if possible). Line a baking sheet with SilPat or parchment.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well. Add the yogurt and fruit and mix well, until just coming away from the side of the bowl. This took me about 3 minutes of steady mixing.
  3. With damp hands, fold the dough onto itself 3-4 times in the bowl. Let rest 3 minutes.
  4. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into balls. 
  5. Poke a hole in the center of each ball (I used a chopstick) and stretch it slightly (it should be about a quarter's diameter).
  6. Top with egg wash and sprinkle with flaxseed. 
  7. Bake for 25 minutes (30 minutes non-convection). 
  8. Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.

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